There'll be no thumb typing here

This video from the folks at Minuum shows off its innovative Android keyboard running on the Samsung Galaxy Gear. As a proof of concept, it's pretty cool, no doubts. But while it's awesome it can be done, is it a solution to a problem we don't have yet? And I'm not just talking about the fact that the Galaxy Gear isn't exactly widespread in its ownership. 

One of the beauties of something such as the Pebble – of which we're big fans – is that it keeps us informed, but leaves the decision of whether to pull out your phone and action your notifications. With a way of hammering out full length messages, emails, tweets and so on on our wrist, temptation to just action everything may return. Just the same as picking up our phones every time the notification sound goes off. 

Then there's comfort. Speaking personally, holding my arm up in a position to spend that amount of time interacting with a watch doesn't feel comfortable at all. In years to come, that may inevitably change, but it's not a natural position, nor a natural feeling interaction. 

On the other side of the argument; it would be pretty awesome in something like a meeting setting to be able to discreetly fire off a quick response to some of the more urgent notifications while leaving your phone firmly out of sight in your pocket. And as far as keyboards for a small display such as this go, Minuum has to be up there with the best. The demo is surely carried out by someone proficient at using it, but it's still pretty impressive. 

So, am I being too old-fashioned, too stuck in my ways, or do you follow my train of thought? It's absolutely awesome that these things can, and do exist, but are we in danger of creating solutions for problems we don't really have? Or creating problems just so we can have a solution? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Source: Minuum via Smartwatch Fans


Reader comments

Minuum keyboard shown on the Galaxy Gear, solution to a problem we don't have yet?


WOW..... looks like I won't need to get the Taptool on Kickstarter for this one! LMAO!

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What's that on your chin? Oh, wipe off the pebble-it's amazing u guys say ur big fans of pebble every article-we would have to b idiots to not know that by now

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I'm going with awesome for this. It looks like a great input method for a smartwatch and more useful on a device that you might use standalone like the Omate TrueSmart.

There seems to be two types of watches emerging. Those that are watch first and smartphone second and those that seem to want to take the place of a phone.

The pebble, metawatch, and some of the newer ones go the watch route and the gear and somewhat the Sony watch go the other way. I bet the smart watch 3 ends up being more packed with stuff.

It really depends what you want out of your watch. I'm sure both can exist. I prefer the watch first, cell phone second pebble style but I may just be old fashioned... Maybe I'd feel differently if the gear was available to everyone (without hacking) and had all features enabled to everyone. I never thought I'd want a smart watch at all and now I have one and love it so maybe the same is true of something like this.

I fall more and more into the "watch first" camp the more I use my Smartwatch 2. Even responding with a canned text message reply takes some time. If you have ever tried this in a meeting, the way you have to hold your arm and perform this function is anything but discreet, I see it as more rude than just keeping your darn cell phone out on the table.

I don't have a Pebble, but am eyeing the Pebble Steel because it is monochrome and therefore more subdued than the bright neon sign that illuminates my wrist every time someone calls me. Don't get me wrong, it is convenient, but it screams "geek" with every notification and phone call.

Trying to bang out an email on my wrist, even with a wrist optimized keyboard, seems like it would cause endless frustration. Don't we all bash Apple and their tiny keyboard around here anyway? Now we want to shrink ours to a quarter size of Apple's? :)

Looks great, much better than fleksy, but I'm still left wondering what exactly I can do with it. Sure I can side load it onto the gear just like I did with fleksy, but unless you root you aren't going to be cranking out texts

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I think it would be nice if a smartwatch had that ability to reply to messages. There may be one that does, but I'm not aware of it.
It would be easier to reply to a message quickly instead of taking my phone out to do it.

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With the Gear you can set up as many quick replies to messages as you want. I have nearly 20 programmed responses that I use to quickly reply to text messages when pulling out my phone is not possible.

Example: Yes. No. Okay. Thank you. You're Welcome. Call me later. I'm driving right now. I will call you in just a bit. I'm sorry, I'm not able to chat right now.

Pebble can do this with the Pebble Apps app. I am not sure of the limit as I have only set up 5 responses. Those quick responses really are fast and it is amazing how often you reply with the same thing, lol.

Have only had my Gear 3 weeks but it too easy to voice text messages - no need for a "keyboard"! Only negatives to Gear are of course few apps but also to have conversation you talk to front of watch and listen to clasp - always switching wrist is annoying while driving with windows down. So comfortable although it looks bulky.

You gotta give it to them, the slogan is quite right: The Best Keyboard for SmartWatches. A growing niche product with no keyboard yet focusing on that front, it's a nice move to advertise themselves as the first and best option. And you know what? It looks just as I though typing on a watch should, not that I'd see the NEED to (just yet).

My perfect smartwatch would be middle road. The gear it's almost perfect for what I would use it for. Ina smart watch I need the speaker, the camera is cool but I can do with our with out. I need a good, almost phone quality touch screen face. Battery life is important, if the galaxy gear could get 2 days off a charge I would be satisfied. I love the look of the gear, I wouldn't change a thing in build. I got a chance to play with one and it's a lot slimmer in person. Another thing that would be a deal sealer would be the ability to use Google now instead of s voice. S voice would have to jump to siri level for me to use that feature/service. That's one thing got Apple got right. The minum key board would be ideal or even swype. I probably wouldn't type out lengthy emails on my smartwatch but it would be cool to have the ability to send quick texts and update social statuses.

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Solution to a problem that we don't have yes.. Totally awesome regardless, bring on the hacks!!

With latest updates the gear gets days on a charge and I rarely have a problem with s-voice-whether answering a text or calling a contact or verbally dialing all 10 digits-gear was rushed hence bad reviews-definitely not the same as launch

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Just did a quick check-over 5 hours off charger-reading e mails, texting and controlling music player the whole time-brightness set at 4, vibrate on, arm motion wake on and screen timeout at 15 secs-all settings that drain battery-at 94%! Can't see bad reviews about battery now

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Thanks for the update! I want one bad. Gotta find a good price for one though. You just made me want one even more haha.

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Yeah I was wanting to get the pebble watch but then the gear came out it smashes every bit and piece the pebble offers. I've seen comments on how the battery sucks and all but I'm like really when your out and about its good but when you get home you really think your still gonna have the watch on

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Don't think u'll regret it and the screen blows all the competition outta the water-looked at all makes and find them boring-I rooted my gear and installed themes from xda and looks great and vibrant-good luck if u decide to buy

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I like the Galaxy Gear better than the Pebble. If you know your ADB, you can load apps on it from any source as long as you have the .apk. It actually runs proper android. I actually like the camera, 2 day battery life, water resistance, and the screen is wonderful compared to the other smartwatches. Actually talking on the phone while driving without even touching my phone or any bluetooth earpiece is great.

Android Central is so into the pebble and anti most things Samsung that it is painfully obvious. I guess it is not illegal so who's just if you are talking smart watches, the Galaxy Gear is right up there near the top. Although, I agree their marketing commercials suck.

I can't wait for some one to utilize the built in mic to dictate what I need to write with Google keyboard or Now on my motoactv, that would be a much better solution... said Dick Tracy

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