10,000 Indiegogo supporters first to try one-dimensional, virtual mobile keyboard
TORONTO, Canada (June 18, 2013) — Whirlscape Inc., creators of Minuum, “the little keyboard for big fingers,” today released the Android beta to the nearly 10,000 supporters who funded the keyboard’s wildly successful Indiegogo campaign.
The Minuum Project campaign raised over $87,000 (USD) through the crowdfunding platform between March and April 2013, well past its initial goal of $10,000. Whirlscape promised to release the hotly anticipated Minuum beta two months after the campaign, and has delivered on that promise.
Minuum’s beta launch to its Indiegogo supporters was covered by TechCrunch, TechCrunch Japan and Mobile Syrup. Whirlscape’s technology was also highlighted in a VentureBeat article on the future of typing.
Minuum is a tiny, linear, one-dimensional touchscreen keyboard that re-imagines the standard QWERTY layout. It frees up mobile screen space while allowing fast, accurate typing. This touchscreen keyboard marks the first phase of the Minuum Project, which seeks to simplify typing on mobile devices—such as smartphones and tablets—and enable typing for wearable technology. The beta release is an important first step towards Minuum’s “type anywhere” future.
“It’s thanks to our amazing campaign supporters that we are here with our first Minuum beta,” said Will Walmsley, CEO of Whirlscape. “We’re very excited to release the Minuum keyboard to our community, who’ve been so encouraging and enthusiastic from the very start. Keeping our promise to release in June was very important to us, so the last two months have been all about working toward today.”
Due to its Indiegogo success, Whirlscape also plans to release a wearable development kit (WDK) later in 2013, empowering others to easily create custom keyboards on any variety of devices and surfaces.
“Feedback from our supporters is a crucial next step in developing Minuum,” said Walmsley. “Their experience with the beta will determine our direction as we make Minuum even better for a wider public release based on this user trial.”
Ranked by number of funders, the Minuum campaign is in Indiegogo’s top 10 of all time—and number two among all technology campaigns. Over 1.1 million people worldwide viewed Minuum’s teaser video, and the keyboard earned coverage in more than 150 media outlets, including TechCrunch, Huffington Post, and Mashable. Those who missed Minuum’s Indiegogo campaign and wish to try the keyboard’s future select beta releases can sign up to receive news about Minuum’s next phase.
Visit the Minuum website for an FAQ covering the most common questions about the Minuum keyboard project. Background information, technical details, photos, product specifications, and more details about wearable technology can be found at minuum.com/mediaroom.
Based in Toronto, Ontario, Whirlscape is a Canadian high-technology start-up with roots in human-computer interaction (HCI). Its product offerings address typing errors in widespread applications like e-mail and text messaging (SMS), initially through alternative keyboards on Android devices with planned extensibility to other platforms or OEM devices. Founded in June 2012, Whirlscape received seed funding from the University of Toronto Early Stage Technology (UTEST) program and MaRS Innovation. Whirlscape is engaged in developing fully-functional Minuum keyboards for Android, incorporating touchscreen entry and motion-controlled modes. The company is also prototyping wearable typing devices to test its technology to its limits.