The Clairvoyant Keyboard
I am a New York City based journalist covering business, entrepreneurs technology. I''m interested in the long 4-chlorodehydromethyltestosterone and winding road from concept to launch to success (or failure), and all of the milestones in between. and briefly in India, and I''ve covered M and business strategy. In my time at Forbes I''ve focused on startups, tech and growing enterprises. Five years on they''ve topped app download charts all over the world, raised $17.6 million in growth capital this summer and become standard tech for the world''s biggest phone manufacturer.
Ben Medlock and Jon Reynolds (l r) of SwiftKey. The company was tapped by Samsung to power the keyboard''s of about 100 million of the mobile giant''s phones by year''s end. It also just raised $17.6 million in growth capital from Index Ventures and Octopus Ventures. (image credit: Eric Millette)
Your phone or tablet''s keyboard may seem simple to you but to Ben Medlock and Jon Reynolds it''s a universe of mathematics and algorithms. Their company, SwiftKey, has spent the past five years pushing to streamline the texting process using a special typing technology that some say is downright creepy in its ability to figure out what word you''ll type next.
With 15 million downloads since 2010 3 million for the $3.99 pricetag SwiftKey''s been the bestselling productivity app on Google Play for over a year and topped the download charts in 57 countries. This spring the company inked a multi year licensing deal with Samsung to power keyboards on 100 million of the mobile giant''s phones by year''s end (including the Galaxy S4) and just closed a $17.6 million series B this July, led by Index Ventures. "If you think about the problem of people trying to type Testosterone Enanthate Powder For Sale on phones, it''s actually more of a problem about language than it is a problem about keyboards," Medlock told FORBES.
Built by analyzing passages from Testosterone Propionate 100mg publicly available web text, the SwiftKey algorithm predicts your next words, corrects spelling, traces your finger placement on the screen, detects what language you are typing and snaps to it (60 languages are available), and learns a user''s individual texting quirks. For instance, if you tend to hit the key just to the left of the one you want to, the app will learn that about you.
Using the software''s Flow feature, you don''t even need to pick your finger up "Hgh Jintropin Avis" off of the screen. To watch an experienced Swiftkey user type out a text fingers flying across the screen, sliding through sequences Tren 75 Stack of letters and occasionally tapping a predicted word or phrase can be a dizzying experience. Check it out in the video below:
The result? SwiftKey users type one third fewer keystrokes than they do typing each letter individually. Enterprise users of the SwiftKey Healthcare which lets medical staff input data at "Anabola Steroider Norge Lagligt" a faster clip claim the app doubles their speed.
The 99 person company is not profitable and CEO Jon Reynolds isn''t "Oxandrolone Powder India" worried, saying breaking even could be up to three years away for Swiftkey, which generated under $10 million in revenue last year. Hiring and infrastructure costs will keep profitability at bay for the time being the company wants to grow its San Francisco office and add new faces to its locations in Beijing and Seoul.
Reynolds, 27, traces SwiftKey''s origins to his days as a civil servant in 2008. At a meeting he noticed a lawyer texting on a Blackberry, awkwardly mashing his fingers into the tiny buttons. To Reynolds, shrinking a keyboard without upgrading the experience seemed ridiculous and he called Medlock, a friend from his Cambridge days, who began work on a solution.
The operating system landscape was different in 2009 and SwiftKey had to choose who to develop for. iOS was not an option as Apple doesn''t allow meddling with its keyboards, Windows phones were uncertain and Symbian was jaunting on to obscurity. Google''s Android was only 1% of the market but drawing interest from manufacturers.
Medlock and Reynolds attended the 2010 Mobile World Congress with an Android compatible prototype and came away with a contract from UK mobile manufacturer Inq Mobile worth enough to hire a few employees. They released their app in 2010.
That iPhones and iPads are off limits to SwiftKey doesn''t sting as much as it used to. iOS was a dominant platform when the company emerged but markets have changed and Android is now the larger player.
"Obviously, from our perspective, if (Apple) did open up it would give us much more of an opportunity to get onto that platform," said Reynolds. He''s not holding his breath.
These days SwiftKey is mulling the world''s largest mobile market China. SwiftKey''s Chinese language app, to be released sometime within the next 12 months, has proved more complex than previous language programs because since Chinese has no spaces in between words, it''s difficult to learn context. The company also rethought its user interface, developing a system of spelling out words that would then be converted into characters.
Another solution constructs Chinese characters using a series of lines, or "strokes." SwiftKey may also use touch recognition to write out characters onscreen.
Language isn''t the only barrier China''s market is bloated with local app Buy Jintropin stores more popular than Google Play and local competition is fierce. "You''ve got the big search engine providers giving away Chinese keyboards for free because they want their individual users to be searching more on their products," said Reynolds.
Options on the table for SwiftKey include promoting itself as the best English keyboard app for Chinese texters, or the best bilingual app, said Reynolds. It may also, he said, choose not to place emphasis on the Chinese market. At 90% Android that seems unlikely there''s just too much money to be made in the long run.
Check out some stats below on how mobile users in different countries use SwiftKey. One in 15 Danish words is chosen without typing a single letter (6.7%, vs 4.3% on average).