Apple quietly acquired Dryft, a software keyboard developer, according to TechCrunch. The tech site says the deal happened sometime last year, but terms of the deal were not disclosed. Dryft’s CEO Randy Marsden, is listed as joining Apple last September, according to Marsden’s LinkedIn profile.
CEO Marsden says his current role (iOS Keyboard Manager ) entails management of keyboards and “text input intelligence” for iOS devices. Dryft, a finalist in TechCrunch‘s Disrupt startup battlefield in 2013, gained notoriety for its custom mobile keyboard that would appear only when the user placed their fingers on the device’s display- a very unique way of creating an on-screen keyboard.
As for Dryft technology, it has three core features. First, a patented touch tap technology that can discern when a users is typing in the display or simply resting their hands in the screen. Second, it supports what the company calls a dynamic keyboard, which automatically adjust where the keyboard appears on screen by tracking a user’s fingers movement. The third and last, Dryft’s keyboard technology adapts to a user’s typing style over time to cut down on errors.
It’s not clear if Apple intends to implement Dryft’s technology in its future version of iOS keyboard or bought the startup for its talents. While the Cupertino-based company opened up its mobile platform to custom keyboards in iOS 8, the stock iOS keyboards has remained relatively stagnate in function for the past couple of years. Apple has not officially confirmed the Dryft acquisition.