Typing on a touchscreen device without even glancing at the screen sounds like a recipe for a screen full of typos. But at CES 2013, representatives of Syntellia were happily typing away on an assortment of mobile devices without ever breaking eye contact or producing a screenful of errors.
It's not some superhuman feat of typing prowess that accounts for this accomplishment. Rather, it's all the work of Fleksy, a mobile app that's currently available for iPhones and iPads and that is in the middle of a beta program for Android users.
The idea, a Syntellia representative explained to me, is to move the experience of typing on a laptop over to a mobile device. "You don't have to look at a laptop keyboard to type," he said. "Fleksy brings that same thing to the touchscreen, that same level of comfort."
The app has its roots as a typing aide for visually impaired users, but Syntellia thinks that all mobile device owners could benefit from an easier time typing on their smartphones and tablets. In a demo at the Syntellia booth, company representatives tapped away on their phones, often not even coming close to the right key, only to have Fleksy correct their typing without missing a beat.
My own use of Fleksy this week was a little bit more mixed. I found some of the swipe gestures a little hard to master and my proficiency with the app wasn't even close to what I saw on the showfloor, though Syntellia's representative assured me that there's very little learning curve with the app.
You can decide for yourself easily enough. The app is a free download on the iPhone and iPad. (A $5 in-app purchase unlocks the ability to email, tweet, and send SMS messages of what you've typed.) And the company is accepting applications for beta testers on the Android side.
And hey, if it means I'll be bowled over by fewer people plodding down the CES showfloor without raising their eyes from their smartphone screens, I'm all for Fleksy becoming the next big thing.