We all know inputting into wearables is a big pain. One of the best solutions is 'voice input' which is not ideal in public. Apple revolutionized wearable input by introducing the digital crown. However, that is not ideal for inputting text. Samsung, LG, and other Android Wear devices present a full keyboard to the user. This crowds the screen and makes for tiny keys that are barely usable. Your choices on the Apple Watch are: Siri, Draw, Preset Responses, Emoji, or Heart Beat. It's inevitable you'll wish you had a full keyboard at some point.
When we looked at a keyboard, we thought we can do this better. This is where we came up with the idea for WeBoard™. The wrist is very stable and allows for predictable stable movements. When combined with various sensors it can allow the user to make traditional keyboard based input with larger keys simply by slight movements of the wrist. This same logic can also be applied to menus, options, and other common app features.
Our goal is to make WeBoard for both Android Wear and Apple Watch. With your help we can make that happen!
As you can see you can barely see your message let alone what the other user is typing when you're messaging with the current solution. WeBoard allows for bigger keys, more accurate input, and faster typing. It could be used in conjunction with existing technologies such as auto-correct or predictive text based input to make for an even richer experience.
WeBoard is a simple keyboard app that works with your existing wearable technology (Apple Watch + Android) to enrich your experience and make it easier for you to input text. You simply install the app and choose it as your default keyboard. You can customize it to fit your needs.
You can long-press keys to display an alternative such as caps, numbers, symbols, accent marks, or emojis.
WeBoard is presently patent pending. Our goal is to provide the highest quality input for wearables. We can adapt this same system to work for other aspects such as Apps and Games to present other features/uses. This Kickstarter is all about the keyboard app but, we'd love to expand to API's in the future.
Our goal is to make WeBoard as customizable as possible. For example, do you want:
- QWERTY to display or QWERTYUIOP?
- What colors would you like the keys/background to be?
- Would you like emojis, special punctuation, accents, etc.
We're hoping to add some exciting customization as stretch goals.
WeBoard will be 100% private. Unlike other 3rd party keyboards we don't collect data. You won’t need to enable “full access” to use WeBoard. We would rather sell you a great product than sell information about you, our valued customers.
Interaction with wearables is presently poor. This prohibits people from using them to their full capability. Our WeBoard system interprets sensor based data from the user and presents a new data set based on this interpretation. This allows for the user to have a better experience and allows for more data options to be presented.
When a user is presented with a full keyboard on a wearable they are overwhelmed and cannot thoughtfully interact with the device. However, when they are presented with WeBoard they get a larger keyboard which can easily be manipulated by the careful movement of their wrist. It allows for a richer experience for the end user and the ability to maximize the effectiveness of their wearable devices.
Q: Can this work with circular faced wearables also?
A: Yes! Amongst other wearables such as bracelets, glasses, or clothing.
Q: Will this be available in other languages?
A: Our goal is to make it available for as many languages as possible. At launch English will be supported and we'll go from there. As a stretch goal, we'll add more languages for launch.
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Risks and challenges
Developing a sensor based keyboard presents a few unique challenges. We're planning on developing for cross-platform (Android Wear + Apple Watch) which results in enhanced challenges. This includes making sure the experience is the same on both platforms. Typically, this means making two completely different sets of code, which can become expensive and burdensome to maintain over time.
Another major challenge is specific to Android Wear whereas you're working against different hardware sensors in every device. For example, the hardware sensors in Samsung's watch aren't the same as what's in Huawei's new watch. We will do our best to ensure the Android Wear version works to the best possible experience on as many devices as possible.
There's also the possibility that the Apple Watch might not presently allow for switching the input device. Even though you can switch your keyboard on iOS it doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to do it on Apple Watch. If this feature isn't present at launch, we do anticipate it would be made available in the future.
Ultimately, there's plenty of challenges for developing any piece of software and we intend to do our best to overcome these challenges and deliver the highest quality keyboard app we possibly can.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)