Virtual keyboard startup Fleksy is pumped about iOS 8 and working on a beta of its software now that Apple has relaxed the platform restrictions on third-party keyboards. But that hasn’t stopped it from giving love to other platforms, too. Today, Fleksy is unveiling a full-fledged SMS messaging app for the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, which runs on Tizen and syncs with a user’s Android phone to facilitate back-and-forth sending, composing and receiving of SMS texts.
This marks a departure from Fleksy’s usual focus on dedicated keyboard software; the app uses Fleksy’s unique keyboard design, of course, which uses algorithmic prediction to make it so that a user theoretically doesn’t even have to look at their wrist. The app goes beyond that, however, giving users a way to see how they might be able to take advantage of Fleksy’s tech to do real work and actually input text even on small wrist-mounted screens that seem best designed for reading off brief snippets of information.
“When the first smartphones came out, many thought typing on glass would be impossible,” Fleksy co-founder and COO Ioannis Verdelis explained via email. “Fleksy’s next generation technology is now redefining the use case and capabilities of wearable technology, and we are hugely excited to be doing this with Samsung Gear 2.”
Fleksy isn’t the only virtual keyboard company targeting devices beyond smartphones and tablets, of course; Toronto startup Minuum has released a smartwatch version of its own minimal keyboard software, too. Arguably it’s a bigger opportunity than traditional mobile devices. Interfaces for wearables and other connected gadgets don’t necessarily have default input methods yet, meaning a startup like Fleksy could win the lion’s share of consumer attention, whereas it’ll always be an uphill battle on platforms like iOS and Android where the default is often good enough for most.
The Fleksy Messenger app is available to Samsung Gear 2 owners via the Samsung Apps marketplace as a free download, and requires a Gear 2-compatible smartphone to work.