Monthly Archives: January 2012

An iPad keyboard that sits on top of my touchscreen… why didn’t I think of that?

 

This is the first product that actually made me think of trading in my Macbook Air for an iPad. I type pretty fast, the last time I checked it was around 90 wpm, and if there is one terrible compromise in computing over the last 5 years, it’s using a QWERTY keyboard on a touchscreen.

I mean seriously? Isn’t this the 21st century? Thankfully, we have solutions popping up on two fronts: The first, is getting rid of QWERTY and replacing it with something more suited for the touchscreen. And second, is getting rid of the touchscreen part, and bringing QWERTY back to a familiar place.

The latter is the direction that Isaac and Melmon of TouchFire decided to take. I know, I know… there are plenty of USB keyboards, Bluetooth keyboards, and cases with built in keyboards, but if I wanted all that, I would carry around a laptop.

The touchfrire concept is completely different, instead of making something that sits next to the iPad, they made a very simple rubbery overlay that sits on top of the screen — using the touch surface of the iPad as the keyboard itself. This saves a lot of space in your every day carry bag, and also means that there are no batteries or pairing issues… ever!

The beauty of this innovation is that your fingers can actually feel where the keys are – freeing you to look at the screen, not at the keys. Instant tactile feedback – Loving it!

The only downside I can think of is that you’re stuck using a 90 percent scaled keyboard instead of a full sized one, but for those of us on the smaller side of the hand-size spectrum, this is not a major compromise. And it does look a bit fiddly.

So, here are the details: They started out on Kickstarter, which is a platform for funding new ideas by potential buyers and they raised over $200K! Now, you better go pre-order from their website because they’ve already sold out their first production batch.

If you’re sitting in front of an iPad typing on a Touch Fire right now, let us know what you think in the comments, and even if you’ve never heard of it until now, what do you think, yea or nay?

by Elliott Williams

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Filed under Innovation, Interfaces