Keyboards have remained largely unchanged forever, despite moving from typewriters, to computer keyboards, to touchscreens. The closest we’ve gotten to changing the basic layout of a keyboard was with T9 typing back before smartphones took over the world, but that technology is about to go into the history books as well, courtesy of touch QWERTY keyboards.
Minuum however wants to take us down a different path. It’s an upcoming keyboard for Android that squeezes the entire QWERTY layout into a single line of letters, in an attempt to solve the problem of keyboards taking up half the screen. Your first reaction is probably “that sounds inaccurate”, but the idea behind Minuum is to use advances in predictive text typing to make a keyboard that doesn’t just tolerate sloppy writing, but it actually built upon it.
I’m a bit skeptical to how well this will work in reality, but I’m definitely interested in testing this out. I know from using software such as Swype that it’s possible to do some amazing things with predictive text, and I for one would love to get a keyboard that doesn’t take up half the screen.
Minuum hasn’t taken the traditional route to the Google Play store, however, and has been on indiegogo for the last month, raising funds to complete the software. It just finished with over $87,000 raised, which is quite substantial considering the goal was a mere $10,000.
Minuum will be available in beta form to backers in June, with public access coming later. I’m not sure if the indiegogo project was actually needed to raise the funds, or if marketing was the true goal, but either way they succeeded in making me interested.