Fleksy saves you from awful touch-screen typos

The Fleksy app takes a different approach to touch-screen typing. You don't have to look. You don't even have to get the letters right.

Fleksy screenshot
Guess what the next word is. Fleksy got it right. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Touch-screen typing solutions have primarily focused on either on-screen keyboards or external keyboards. The former is notoriously inaccurate thanks to fumbling fingers, and the latter defeats the purpose of having such a sleek, portable device in the first place. Startup Syntellia is working on Fleksy, software that will recognize your screen typing, no matter how sloppy you are.

Fleksy demo
Look ma, no keyboard! (Click to enlarge.) Amanda Kooser/CNET

Fleksy was originally tested with blind users, but the creators knew it could also be helpful for people like me who flail about at their touch-screen keyboards. Whether I'm typing on my iPad or my Android phone, I always find a way to hit the wrong key. I like the idea of an app that can save me from myself.

Fleksy is already out for iOS, but the Android version is debuting at CES 2013. Though apps are where it's at for Fleksy at the moment, Syntellia's ultimate goal is to integrate this with smartphones. If that happens, you won't have to seek out the Fleksy app, it will just be a part of your mobile device experience from the get-go.

The app presents you with a keyboard and a big blank space where the words appear. The app talks to you as you type, a feature designed for the visually-impaired. There are a few commands that take some getting used to. You swipe right to type a space and left to delete. Swiping right is also for punctuation. It's designed to work even if you're not looking at the screen. A whole bunch of complicated algorithms makes it work.

The technology is still young, but it shows quite a bit of promise. At first, I was a little annoyed with the inaccuracy. Then, I completely botched the word "interesting" by starting it with a "c," throwing in an "x," and missing almost every letter. It didn't matter. Fleksy got it right. After that, I was much more on a roll with the app.

You get the most out of Fleksy when you simply stop trying so hard to get the letters right. Just let it fly and let Fleksy do its job. You don't even have to have a keyboard to look at so long as you're a bit familiar with touch-typing or thumb-typing on a QWERTY keyboard.

If Fleksy is the future of typing on touch screens, then we're all going to have a lot fewer embarrassing typos to explain.

 

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