Here's the problem with mobile keyboards - they take up too much space, but they're too functional to do away with. They're the worst way to input text, with the exception of all of the alternatives. Now that more phones either come with Swype or a default keyboard that replicates its innovation, there's even less of a reason to try out the many other options that are out there. Some third-party keyboards simply feel half-baked, but there are a few that pique our interest.
There are already plenty of step-counters and fitness trackers on the market, but Sensoria is trying to appeal to a more serious athlete. The Smart Sock is pretty much want it sounds like – socks with sensors that relay stride and step information to your smartphone. The company was seeking $87,000 on Indiegogo, and it has blown by that with 5 days to spare. The video is a little awkward, but the product looks neat.
Kreyos came to Indiegogo in June asking for $100,000 to get their Meteor smartwatch to market. It's been nearly two months, and the company is walking away with over $1.5 million instead. People clearly want a smartwatch done right, and this speakerphone-equipped model, with its relatively small promises compared to other offerings, looks quite feasible.
The Meteor comes with a backlit "special LCD" black and white non-touch display. Wearers can issue voice commands, activate gestures by moving their wrists, or fall back to the traditional buttons situated on both sides of the device.
So, the folks at Canonical have been talking up their Ubuntu smartphone platform for a little over six months. Today they revealed their ultimate plan to revolutionize the smartphone world, a fantastic Death Star of a concept device: the Ubuntu Edge. It's a beautiful slab of metal that features some of the most outlandish mobile hardware ever seen, it runs Ubuntu for smartphones, doubles as a dockable ARM-powered desktop, and dual-boots Android.
There's a new crowdfunded Bluetooth smartwatch on the... wait, come back here! It's true that this particular market niche has become somewhat overcrowded in the last few months, but the Meteor smartwatch by startup company Kreyos has a few features we haven't seen before. For one thing, it's detachable from its watchband, making it a bit more flexible when it comes to sporty activities. And for another, it works as a Bluetooth speakerphone and includes voice command, letting you live out your Dick Tracy fantasies.
Google Glass may be cool and all, but it just isn't fast enough. No, it's not too laggy, it's just intended for people who have both feet planted firmly on the ground. Okay, Google may have launched Glass with a skydiving demonstration, but that was about recording video. If you want something that is genuinely useful while moving at 80 mph, you'll need something a little more dedicated. Now that I have your attention, I present to you the LiveMap motorbike helmet with navigation currently attracting attention over at Indiegogo.
Minuum Keyboard launched an IndieGoGo campaign back in March, and by the time it was over in April, the developers had raised almost $90,000. That's 873% of the goal. It was a big vote of confidence from Android users, but Minuum promised something unique – a keyboard that takes up only a tiny strip of screen real estate, yet still provides all the functionality you need. It sounds crazy on the face of it, but what if it's not just smoke and mirrors?
When we first laid eyes on Minuum back in mid-March, it was love at first sight (for me, anyway). A touchscreen keyboard that only takes up one row sounds like an absolute godsend. Personally, I instantly threw money at the screen so I could get early access to this little gem – that was the first day of the company's Indiegogo campaign. During that day, it blasted past its original $10,000 goal, proving that my desire for this fantastic-looking piece of software to come to fruition was shared by many.
Don't drink and drive. Ever. Now that we've got that out of the way, Breathometer, the smartphone-powered breathalyzer, has reached its Indiegogo goal about six times over. What does that mean for you? Cheap BAC tests for everyone! The $20 device aims to make it inexpensive and easy to know when you're too intoxicated to drive. This will, naturally, replace the more commonplace test of "Have I had any alcohol? Yes?
We generally have a rule at Android Police HQ: we don't post about Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects at least until they've been funded. Too often things turn into vaporware and people's money ends up wrapped up in things like Diaspora that never take off. Today, we're making a rare exception to talk about Minuum, because this video starts off as "Oh, that's kinda cool," and quickly shifts to "Holy crap, that's amazeballs!"
As you can see in the beginning of the video, the concept is fairly simple.