​TouchOne Keyboard may actually make smartwatch typing possible

Dusting off T9 predictive text for the wearable tech generation
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A neat smartwatch keyboard app has gone live on Kickstarter which could transform the way we interact with our wearable devices.

The TouchOne Keyboard works on square and circular smartwatches, using a ring around the screen with letters grouped together. The concept is exactly the same as the old T9 predictive text keyboard for those old enough to remember texting pre-iPhone 2G. You hit the letter groups and it fathoms out the word you're looking for.

Essential reading: Best Android Wear apps

It's pared back even further than the traditional T9, and there are eight letter groups with 'w, x y, z' and 'p, q, r, s' all grouped together.

The TouchOne keyboard has recently won a CeBIT Australia startup pitchfest prize and the developers submitted patents back in 2013. But there's a problem. Android Wear and watchOS don't allow for third party keyboard inputs, which means in addition to building the app, the developers need to create messaging apps to use the keyboard in.

They're looking for now looking $10,000 AUD to do just that.

It's a neat design and there's been some encouraging feedback from testers over on the XDA Developers forum. However, lack of support from the OS makers means its usefulness could be limited even if TouchOne hits its target.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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