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DT Daily: Smartwatch keyboard tech, Planet of the Apes featurette, Tetris is huge

Today on DT Daily: An innovative approach to smartwatch keyboards, a peek behind the scenes of the next Planet of the Apes movie and a classic video game goes big. Really big.

Smartwatches are most likely here to stay and if you thought tapping out text on the small screen on your phone was tough, just imagine hunting and pecking on the face of a watch.

Fortunately, digital keyboard innovator Minuum may have an answer – including for upcoming round smartwatches. The Minuum keyboard stacks letters in a way that’s at least familiar to our big QWERTY keyboards, and if their video is to be believed, you can actually get quite proficient at using it. A large part of it relies on the software predicting what you want to say, and Minuum says the system increases accuracy the more you use it.

Motorola is expected to announce their round Moto 360 smart watch at Goolge’s I-O tech fest this week, and Minuum says their cool keyboard with be a third-party add-on when it debuts.

Expectations are running high for the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, that latest entry in the successful reboot of the beloved sci-fi franchise from the 1970s.

What didn’t carry over from the 1970s are the monkey suits, of course. Effects outfit WETA Digital used the latest performance capture technology to make the simian cast even more lifelike, if that’s possible. So how did they do it? A short behind-the-scenes featurette shows the actors working under challenging conditions. They used facial cameras, tracking point suits and other tech to bring the ape army to life as they battle the remaining humans for global supremacy.

So who wins in the end? Hey no spoilers here, although watching the original from the 70s might give you a clue – and it’s still a good movie.

Any Tetris fans out there? Still plugging away to beat your old high score on your original Gameboy? How about this: professor Frank Lee of Drexel University in Philly recently took Tetris to the next level by playing it on the side of a 29-story skyscraper.

LEDs built into the building were, uh, repurposed for the game, and competing teams located two miles away played against each other on both sides of the tower – complete with sound effects! It’s not Lee’s first time rastering up a classic game; last year he dialed up few rounds of Pong on the same building. Tetris is coming up on its 30th anniversary, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the addictive game than this. Thanks, professor. 

Your host today is Greg Nibler.