Fleksy

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Fleksy
Original author(s) Syntellia Inc.
Operating system iOS
Android
Type Virtual keyboard
License Proprietary
Website http://fleksy.com/

Fleksy is an input method for touchscreen devices which offers a traditional tap typing interface coupled with some gestures for common functions such as space, delete and word correction. It uses error-correcting algorithms that take into account the exact locations where the user touches the screen and, coupled with a language model, tries to guess the intended word. Fleksy is designed for use on touchscreen devices with a traditional QWERTY keyboard, and provides the ability to touch type on a touchscreen device. Completely eyes-free typing is achieved by leveraging the user's muscle memory, making the software popular particularly among blind and visually impaired users.[1] It was first commercially available on the iPhone as a download from the Apple App Store in July 2012.[2]

Fleksy was developed by Syntellia Inc., a company founded in 2011.[3]

Software[edit]

Fleksy attempts to correct words mostly by examining the locations where the user touches the screen. The software tries to guess both the intended word as well as the frame of reference for the virtual keyboard in one step. As such, it is tolerant to drifting errors and allows the user to type on an invisible keyboard or even off the keyboard in some instances.[4] As a result, the system has gained popularity among the visually-impaired community.[5][6][7][8] Most notably, the software has been considered for the "Story of the Year" of the Technology Year in Review for 2012 by the American Foundation for the Blind.[9]

There is evidence that the software could potentially allow sighted people to blind-type on a touchscreen.[citation needed] Quentin Stafford-Fraser said on his website: "I found I could type whole sentences immediately without looking at the keyboard". [10]

Fleksy is limited to word corrections and does not offer next word predictions, as found in Swype, SwiftKey and other keyboards.

On top of the traditional tap typing paradigm, Fleksy offers a gesture-based interface that can be used for some common functions such space, backspace, and choosing a word correction. There has been criticism that this creates a steep learning curve for many users.[citation needed] In addition, the software does not correct most spelling errors in its current form.

Availability[edit]

Fleksy is available on the iOS AppStore. Due to limitations in iOS versions 7 and prior, the keyboard could not replace the system-wide keyboard,[11] therefore minimizing the utility of the software. Starting with version 8 of iOS this restriction has been lifted.[12] In December 2013 a first set of four iOS applications that use the Fleksy SDK to offer the Fleksy keyboard within those application has been released on the iOS AppStore.[13] A beta was launched for Android in January 2013.[14]

Fleksy is currently available in English and Spanish only. Fleksy SDK is now available for public from February 20, 2014 - told COO of Fleksy officially.

Awards[edit]

Fleksy has received a number of awards since its release in July 2012:

Competitors[edit]

There are many competing keyboards for both iOS and Android, including Swype, SwiftKey, TouchPal, Adaptxt [Keypoint Technologies] and many others. In contrast to many competing keyboards, Fleksy does not offer next word prediction or keyboard customization.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2012: A Technology Year in Review" AFB AccessWorld, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Fleksy - Happy Typing" , App Store, Retrieved on 7 February 2013.
  3. ^ " Syntellia", syntellia.com, Retrieved on 7 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Hacker News" news.ycombinator.com, Retrieved on 7 February 2013.
  5. ^ "An App for Wayward Fingers and Thumbs: An Evaluation of the Fleksy App from Syntellia" AFB AccessWorld, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Fleksy Gives Blind iOS Users Top-Speed Typing Access" About.com, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Mistype Every Letter & Fleksy Still Knows What Keys You Meant" About.com, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Fleksy app: Helping you to type faster" Royal National Institute for the Blind, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  9. ^ "2012: A Technology Year in Review" AFB AccessWorld, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Being Accessible" StatusQ, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Editorial: What we want to see in iOS 6" Engadget, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  12. ^ http://fleksy.com/ios8/
  13. ^ "Fleksy Announces First Third-Party App Integrations of Award-Winning iOS Keyboard Solution" PRWeb, 12 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Fleksy for Android beta hands-on (video)", Engadget, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ " SXSW, Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Fleksy typing app gets main stream recognition in the Apple Australian App Store" Vision Australia, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  18. ^ "CES Innovation Awards" CES, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  19. ^ "Qualcomm Press Release" Qualcomm, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  20. ^ "Fleksy - App of the Month August 2012" Royal National Institute of the Blind, Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  21. ^ "Announcing the AppleVis Golden Apples of 2012" AppleVis, Retrieved 7 February 2013.