Most would see the keyboard app for Android and iOS, Minuum, as simply another gimmicky approach to the basic concept of the smartphone keyboard. In fact that’s how I perceived it at first as well. With it’s ideas that the real-estate on your phone is getting smaller and smaller even as screens get bigger, it’s still an odd sight to see the standard QWERTY keyboard spread in a single row across the bottom of your screen. How it manages to type anything, what with it’s small groupings of keys and no discernible way of distinguishing which it is you’re trying to press, is honestly a bit of a mystery.
Until you start to use it.
The idea behind Minuum is the small profile of the keyboard itself allows for your screen to be freed up to do what it was supposed to do in the first place; display your interests. Input, to the Minuum developers, should be small and quick and easy. Something that this app manages to do beautifully. The key to Minuum is the predictive nature of it’s setup. Using a complex series of algorithms that many predictive text applications use, only on a much, much higher level, Minuum is able to detect what it is you may be trying to type based on only an approximate location on their small, slim keyboard. Accuracy on the keys themselves is not overly important. Only that you are able to iterate on a direct level what it is that you’re trying to type out is what’s important. Minuum and it’s code do the rest for you and have managed to create an incredible accurate and fast keyboard, no matter how sloppily you type.
The most incredible thing about Minuum is not necessarily the predictive nature, while that is something to marvel at. What is amazing about Minuum is it’s ability to turn nearly any surface, with the right tools, into a potential keyboard. The Minuum code has been released to developers and can easily be applied to Google Glass, Smartwatches, and even the surface of your desk or table, if you have a camera to register just where the keys themselves should be. Even by simply waving your fingers in a preset area of the air in front of your camera can serve as your keyboard and nearly eliminate the need for physical input peripherals. It has the potential to be the future of input on your mobile device, or any device for that matter. The technology exists and Minuum is putting it to use incredibly well.
Currently, Minuum is available on both Android and iOS, though the released software development kit actually opens that potential up to nearly any computing device out there. The application is not free, but the company is small and still raising capital to get it’s program out to the masses. If quirky, but incredibly useful applications are an interest of yours, check out Minuum and take a look for yourself just what can be done.