Essentially, we like solving problems.
Consider mobile typing: Current technology assumes that sticking a virtual typewriter into a touchscreen device is the best way to enter text, resulting in keyboards that have more physical bulk than necessary. People want to make the most of their screen space—or get the keyboard off the device completely. We wondered how to make a simpler keyboard that gives users back their screen space and simultaneously satisfies the quest for speed and precision of text entry. We worked hard for two years to prototype and test an array of new text entry techniques, then formed Whirlscape to get the best of these out to the public. First up: Minuum for smartphones, then Minuum for wearable devices and more, with our wearable development kit.
CEO & Lead Designer
Chief Marketing Officer
Whirlscape is always looking for great people to join the team and help change the way the world types. Visit our careers page to see currently open positions.
Minuum was inspired by a University of Toronto research project: Invent a better way of typing on touchscreen mobile phones without looking. This encouraged us to investigate various device tilting techniques relying on user motion—which we understood to be useful in the field of wearable technology. The Minuum virtual keyboard for touchscreens is simply one extension of this approach. Our original research also led to the development of the disambiguation algorithm, a new alphabet layout, and exciting results based on user studies with various device tilting techniques: We found that people could type at tremendous speeds, using carefully designed audio feedback, without any visual feedback or looking at their phones.
User motion, though imprecise, allowed our users to type amazingly well. Since we realized our technology had uses beyond this new rotational text entry method, we pivoted to focus on creating a better touchscreen keypad and founded Whirlscape to make this happen. All along we’ve been looking ahead to a new wave of typing with wearable technology. What we’ve created so far is well beyond what we originally set out to do, with unlimited future potential.
We received some support for the Minuum project from the UTEST program and MaRS Innovation, as well as overwhelming support from our international community of nearly 10,000 supporters, who supported us via Indiegogo.