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’ve received support for the Minuum project from the UTEST program, the VentureStart program, and OCE, as well as overwhelming support from our international community of nearly 10,000 supporters, who supported us via Indiegogo.