Single-row keyboard aims to make typing easier on mobile devices
Published Sunday, March 24, 2013 10:42PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 24, 2013 11:31PM EDT
A Toronto startup’s new take on the traditional keyboard could be a potential game-changer for mobile devices, as increasing interest in the technology could soon turn the innovative concept into a reality.
Will Walmsley, CEO of Whirlscape, has reconfigured the traditional QWERTY keyboard into a single row, saving precious screen space on smartphones and tablets.
Researchers call the virtual keyboard Minuum and have billed it as “the little keyboard for big fingers.”
“If you actually want to get this full, rich experience from using your phone, then you want to get the keyboard out of the way,” Walmsley told CTV News.
He said that while mobile devices get more sophisticated, the traditional keyboard layout, designed in the 1800s, has remained relatively unchanged.
The technology uses a specialized auto-correction algorithm that allows for highly accurate typing, even if the user misses certain letters.
“Even though the letters are very, very small on the keyboard, it's designed so that you don't have to worry about actually hitting the letters precisely,” Walmsley explained.
Whirlscape recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to complete the project, which is currently in the testing and development phase.
The initial goal was to raise $10,000, but after a mere 48-hours on the international crowdfunding website Indiegogo, Whirlscape had almost quadrupled its goal.
The startup is now well on its way to achieving its stretch goal of $60,000, raising nearly $55,000 as of Sunday evening.
"It’s been such a validation of the fact that people are excited by this,” said Whirlscape CTO Xavier Snelgrove. “To see all of these strangers come in and really show their support and show their excitement.”
Whirlscape is hoping to release a test version of Minuum by this summer.
With a report from CTV’s John Vennavally-Rao