Minuum is a virtual keyboard designed to take up as little space as possible. Right now that means you get more free space for content on a touchscreen phone or tablet. Eventually the Minuum team thinks its keyboard app could offer touchless typing on TVs or computers.
The developer of Minuum currently offer an Android app that squashes all the letters and characters you’d find on a QWERTY keyboard into a space that’s less than half the ordinary size. But you don’t need tiny fingers to use it, because Minuum uses auto-correction to figure out what you’re trying to type as you move across the keys.
But the team has also been showing demos of Minuum working on devices without touchscreens at all. A few weeks ago the team showed a demo of a Smart TV user interface that lets you “type” by waving a Wiimote or similar motion controller around to move an on-screen cursor.
Now the team is showing a demo of Minuum working with a Leap Motion controller, which would allow you to enter text without touching a keyboard or touchscreen and without holding anything in your hands at all.
The idea is that you could “type” while wearing gloves, while you’re cooking and have hands covered in oil, or any other time you’d prefer not to smudge your device.
Leap Motion and other motion controllers are designed to support accurate 3D gesture recognition, so theoretically you could use any on-screen keyboard to enter text. But keyboards like Minuum that use auto-correction and predictive text could save you the trouble of going back and fixing all the typos you’d inevitably make if you tried using a normal keyboard.
At this point Minuum is still exclusively available for Android. But the demos the company has been showing off show how the technology could theoretically help make text input without a keyboard or touchscreen possible.
The company is also taking aim at the wearable space, with an SDK that could enable support for typing on smartwatches, Google Glass, or other devices.