The small size of smartwatches makes them extremely portable (and we wouldn’t strap them to our wrists if they weren’t) but that’s also what leads to numerous problems: if we could give smartwatches batteries the size of those we use in smartphones, our power concerns would go out the window. Size also plays a role in how we enter text on these devices; voice-based text entry sure can seem like an elegant solution, but not every social situation is going to be appropriate for speaking text aloud. Is there any hope for on-screen keyboards with screens this small? We’ve already seen some attempts at running Android keyboard software on Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, but with the display as petite as it is, they tended to eat up a pretty sizable chunk of screen real estate. Whirlscape thinks it can do one better, and today shared a video showing what its Minuum keyboard can bring to a smartwatch.
As you may recall, Minuum does keyboards pretty differently from most of the other guys, and centers around this idea of a linear layout, rather than the 2D spread we’re used to. Running it on the Galaxy Gear definitely helps cut down on screen space consumed by the keyboard, and while it’s not lightning-fast, this demo sure makes it seem perfectly usable.
Sure, the Galaxy Gear doesn’t make sideloading software like this super easy, so this is south of mainstream for the moment, but we’re seeing a lot of potential here. Maybe Whirlscape needs to hook up with a smartwatch manufacturer and work out a deal to make Minuum officially available on some future model.
Via: Tech Crunch