If you think back to the iPhone launch in 2007, one of the things Steve Jobs was most proud of was the fact that the phone didn’t feature any kind of fixed, built-in keyboard in the manner of the BlackBerry or the Palm Treo.
Well, leap forward six years and the Typo Keyboard (largely bankrolled by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest) has either set things back or forwards by introducing a BlackBerry-inspired physical iPhone 5 keyboard, designed for those who spend large amounts of time typing messages and emails on the device.
The iPhone case/peripheral — which works when Bluetooth is enabled — adds less than 1 inch (2.54 centimetres) to the iPhone’s overall length.
“The Typo Keyboard was born out of a desire for efficiency,” press materials state. “For several years, many of our friends and colleagues carried two phones: one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for virtually everything else. One night, we were out to dinner and both had our phones on the table. Two people, four phones! We looked at each other and thought there was an easy solution to the problem, a keyboard for the iPhone.”
According to its creators, the keyboard enables users to type 50 percent faster and with less typos than the regular iOS interface, while also bringing back 40 percent more screen space for typing, since it removes the need for a graphical keyboard.
Did we mention that Ryan Seacrest has $1 million invested in the concept?
The iPhone 5 Typo Keyboard ships in January, and is currently available for pre-order.