Leap Motion + Fleksy is Genius Typing in the Air

A post showed up on Engadget this morning that caught my eye.

Laser projected virtual keyboardsSo 2004. These days, tech firms are dreaming up completely invisible typewriters, or at least Syntellia is. By marrying a Leap Motion sensor with its own Fleksy predictive keyboard, the company has created a system that seems to let you type on thin air

01-LeapMotion-Logo

Yet another crazy-cool thing coming out of SXSW this year. You might say I predicted this. Last week I wrote posts about each of these companies and how I was excited about the work they are doing. I ended my Leap Motion post remarking on the promising future the miniscule device has. I suggested it could read sign language and allow people with arthritis to control computers without the joint pain, to control of a television without a remote.

Fleksy_LogoThen, in my Fleksy post I suggested ways Fleksy could make the move out of touchscreen devices and incorporated into computers. I wrote specifically how it could be used to speed up typing and allow a dramatic increase in accuracy.

But what I neglected to put together was what would happen if Fleksy worked with Leap Motion. Well, turns out they were already thinking about this and have announced Fleksy integration with Leap Motion, and it’s pretty brilliant. Imagine controlling your AppleTV with the Leap Motion, swiping in the air through videos and songs. When it came time to do a search in the Netflix app, you’d have the ability to simply type in the air using Fleksy integration instead of the traditional, and painfully slow, method of input with the AppleTV onscreen keyboard.

I’m not sure if I’m a genius for thinking abstractly of these two ideas or dense for not thinking of combining the two. Either way I’m even more looking forward to the delivery of my Leap Motion. Apple being the silo that it is, we might have to work with some XMBC hackers to get the above integration working but it would be worth it.

Fleksy is Revolutionizing How We Tap to Type

Recently I joined the co-working space WeWork here in SOMA San Francisco. I wrote a post on what inspired me to join a co-working space and what specifically brought me to WeWork over the competition, namely The Hatchery, NextSpace and PARISOMA. In that post I wrote how I wanted to start profiling the companies I find especially impressive that share this workspace with me and in particular, Syntellia, the team behind Fleksy.

Fleksy Logo

Ever dreamt of an auto-correct system powerful enough to work even when you don’t look at the screen? Enter, Fleksy… Featuring Syntellia’s patent pending technologies, Fleksy uses the familiar QWERTY layout, coupled with probably the most powerful text prediction engine out there.

After I wrote that post, Bill Rappos, UX Design at Syntellia, waved at me from his office (it’s literally on the mezzanine right in front of me) and came down to talk about Fleksy. That alone is reason enough to work in a space like WeWork! Let’s find out what Fleksy does and how it might revolutionize how you tap to type on your phone and tablet.

Fleksy KeyboardFleksy is a free software keyboard for mobile devices (currently a universal iOS app but Android is in beta) that uses an incredibly smart, predictive typing algorithm to assist in tapping out text on touchscreen devices. It’s so good that you can miss every letter and it will more than likely guess what you meant to type. This should not be confused with the sometimes hilariously wrong autocorrect found in the iPhone. Fleksy is so good, I was able to type the text above without even looking at the screen. Continue reading

ZAGGkeys PROplus iPad Keyboard Case Review

Last year I reviewed another iPad keyboard case from ZAGG. I loved the case but felt it was a bit too thick and heavy especially when compared to the space the iPad took up on it’s own. Ultimately though I grew to find it an indispensable accessory for my iPad. So did many people I encountered on my flights and at coffee shops. Since then ZAGG has released several other iPad keyboards but it’s the $129 ZAGGkeys PROplus (let’s be honest, that name is a mouthful) that I’m writing about today.

ZAGGKeys PROplus HeroFor the most part an iPad keyboard is an iPad keyboard. The differences, generally speaking are just a handful of variables.

  1. Bluetooth vs dock connector
  2. Size of the keyboard
  3. Chicklet keys vs rubber keys
  4. Case vs stand vs portfolio case standalone

This keyboard connects via bluetooth, is just smaller than a full-sized Apple keyboard, has chicklet keys and works as a stand for your iPad, as well as a case. What differentiates this keyboard from almost all other keyboards is the feature made popular by Apple’s MacBook Pro. This keyboard lights up! Before we get to that, let’s cover the basics. Continue reading

Quickly – Facebook Quietly Updates Events RSVP Options

Facebook-Like-IconWhen Facebook first rolled out their “Events” section ages ago it gave invited guests three options with which to RSVP.

  1. Going
  2. Maybe
  3. Not Going

Seemed like enough. But people who RSVP “Maybe” to events kind of suck at life. I can’t maybe make more food on the fly. I can’t maybe have enough alcohol. I can’t maybe have enough room for everyone. These are things that I have to have. Ryan and I host parties from time to time and often get as much as 50% of our RSVPs as “Maybe” and it drives me crazy.

Facebook seemed to understand this and for a period of time you could remove the “Maybe” option. People were either there at your party or not there. No longer were there these Schrödinger’s cat guests! (I love making physics jokes…)

Sadly this option was taken away but today I noticed a new option in place of the “Maybe”. Now invitees can select “Interested”.

Facebook Events Interested

This doesn’t bring back the ability to disable all those indecisive people from not committing to your event. However, the wording change might prevent people from abusing the selection like they abuse “Maybe”.

If someone is interested in coming over they should understand that it doesn’t mean they have said they are or aren’t going. It’s a non-commital option that should tell everyone involved that at this point, you’re not going but the event interests you.

Do you think this will make a difference? I sure hope so. Also, properly RSVP to events people. It’s the civilized thing to do. Just ask Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.

I’m So Excited! Official Trailer

I discovered this movie trailer this morning while scrolling through YouTube videos. It’s a foreign film that apparently stars Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas so my hopes are high. However, I could not get beyond the idea that this is what Skylor really does at cruising altitude (see main character, the one in the middle of the frame).

Acclaimed, world-renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar has been working on his next film titled Los amantes pasajeros, or re-titled to I’m So Excited! in English. Sony Pictures Classics, who already has the rights to release this sometime next year, has unveiled an early teaser trailer mostly showing three drunk male flight attendants singing and dancing to “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters. I’m really not sure what this is or what it’s about beyond that, but it’s supposedly set entirely on an airplane, which is a fun twist for Pedro Almodóvar.

Oh but seriously, who doesn’t want to see this movie? It looks pretty fabulous to me!

Keith and the Girl 30 Hour Marathon Kickstarter Campaign

Back in 2005 I made a huge decision to leave behind my school, my friends and my life in Columbia Missouri. I was heartbroken, mentally disheveled and felt like my life was spinning a slow spiral down a shallow drain. The decision was made in haste but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I made in my life. As you all know by now.

As a side effect of moving into a cabin in the words of wine country is I was limited to forms of entertainment. I didn’t have TV, there was no cell service to speak of and I was miles away from anyone with a head full of teeth (river folk are an interesting breed).

What I did have was a high speed internet connection and a new thing called “Podcasts” in my iTunes. Living alone with little human interaction can make you go crazy in no time. These podcasts kept me sane by entertaining me and taking my attention away from the problems in my life, by allowing me to laugh again and grow to know things would be OK.

One of the first podcasts I subscribed to was Keith and the Girl. Back then they were two professional clowns (seriously) who were dating and trying to make a name for themselves in NYC, in between gigs as Elmo at children’s parties. One a standup comedian, the other a talented if not under-appreciated singer. Keith Malley and Chemda became my friends, even if they didn’t know it. Continue reading

This is how I ride in San Francisco

I recently got my road bike tuned up and beefed up for riding around in the city. My normal bike for pedaling around San Francisco was stolen a few months ago. It was much better suited for jumping curbs and dodging potholes. So I’m down to a road bike, not so bad but it makes for one hell of a rough ride. Last night I picked up my bike from the great people at Everybody Bikes and rode it home from the Inner Sunset to the Castro. It went a little like this:

Danny MacAskill is a professional street trials rider and a man who knows more than most about power and control. His unique bike stunts have earned him international recognition and his films have been watched by over 30 million. Street Trials demands focus, skill and above all, precise control – all of which are needed for complex jumps and balancing on extremely narrow obstacles. Danny has these qualities and more which mean he makes conquering formidable urban landscapes look truly effortless. (link)

Well except I was way cooler and did it at night time… Hats off to my friend with the best curation skills in town, Lauren Kilberg, for finding that video. If you aren’t already reading her blog, do it. She finds the most amazing things from all over the real world and the Internet and shares it on the regular.  Continue reading