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  • iTwinge Bringing Physical Keyboard To the iPhone

    Image via CNET

    From business persons to hardcore gamers, the lack of a physical keyboard is a problem both for customers who already have the device and those who refuse to get one for this very reason.

    Cool as a touch-screen may be, some folks will never shake their affections for a keyboard. For those individuals, luck would have it that this longstanding problem may soon wind to a close.

    According to The New York Times:
    Toronto-based Mobile Mechatronics said it has built a Blackberry-style physical keyboard that attaches to an iPhone. The keyboard - called iTwinge - has a short kind of sleeve that you slide the phone into. It attaches to the phone’s battery port to draw power for the keyboard. It slides on and off and no special software is required to use it.
    Ironically, this attachment was initially pioneered to help people make the switch from a physical keyboard to the touch-screen keyboard of the iPhone. The exercise was intended to train individuals on where the virtual keys are located and, consequently, "build muscle memory."

    Incredibly, the exited response I received from my iPhone-loving friends was tremendous when I brought up the news about iTwinge. Sad but true, the majority were actually more pumped about this keyboard sleeve that anything Apple announced at their 9/09/09 media event.

    The keyboard will sell for $30 with $5 shipping to the U.S. There are prototypes in beta test now, which have rubber keyboards. The final version will be made of hard plastic.
    Unfortunately, we have to wait until November to get our hands on this thing. Although I'm reluctant to get on board any iPhone
    hardware's bandwagon until I've actually experimented with it, it's understandable why so many ant-iPhone people may now make the jump to Apple just because of this particular development.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iTwinge Bringing Physical Keyboard To the iPhone started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 54 Comments
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Awesome! Can I play games with this physical keyboard? I need one!
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      As much as I would love a physical keyboard on the iPhone, I wouldn't get this...
      I guess it's just not my style
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Looks g@y....kinda like one of those blackberry thinga magigs
    1. Grassmasta's Avatar
      Grassmasta -
      I sure hope they plan on making that ugly thing more aesthetically pleasing. iPhone = Sexy, iPhone + iTwinge = Not even with the lights off...
    1. lil red wagon's Avatar
      lil red wagon -
      how soon before they decide to develop a game controller that mounts the same way... (just a suggestion)
    1. nikozen's Avatar
      nikozen -
      It's a neat concept for those that don't like the touch screen. But it looks rather bulky, and it

      Quote Originally Posted by Messany View Post

      According to The New York Times:

      It attaches to the phone’s battery port to draw power for the keyboard.
      I can't imagine it draws much power but for heavy users this could have a noticeable impact on battery life.
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      It looks pretty decent and hopefully it works out but I can't see much of a difference anyway. I used to get cramps in my hands from my keyboard on my old phone and now I'm just so used ti the iPhones keyboard I like it much better, now they need to also add 2 keyboards to this. The one that's in beta and have a landscape to go along with it! Gonna have to try this out
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Quote Originally Posted by angiepangie View Post
      As much as I would love a physical keyboard on the iPhone, I wouldn't get this...
      I guess it's just not my style
      Is this your style?
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lil red wagon View Post
      how soon before they decide to develop a game controller that mounts the same way... (just a suggestion)
      Icontroller pad should be out around the same time, that make it almost like a psp and most devs should use the source code for the better games for the iPhone
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Quote Originally Posted by awesomeiPod View Post
      Is this your style?
      FAIL
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Lmao
    1. blkcadi's Avatar
      blkcadi -
      At least IMHO they got the name right iTwinge because that's exactly what it makes me do, twinge. ewwww
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      ^+1
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      This kbd is pathetic. It is UGLY (did I say it is UGLY). But its worst sin is that it covers the screen! I would pay for a physical keyboard that actually let me use the full screen...
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      ^+1
      Covers half of the screen. Now I say no thanks to this keyboard. My pic of my iKeyboard is even...better? Ummm...
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      What a huge fail. If we wanted a huge ghey looking keyboard in portrait mode we'd buy a blackberry.

      Virtual landscape that doesn't look like a commodore 64 keyboard FTW.

      Gonna be in court filing iBankrupt quicker than Enron.
    1. davidmdowning42's Avatar
      davidmdowning42 -
      So, does it just transfer your key pressings directly to the screen, or does it actually send data through the dock port? If that latter is the case, then I wanna know- does it have it's own home button?!?!? As one of the pitiful poor shmucks with a broken home button, sure would be great if this would replace it!!!
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      this keyboard FAILS
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      I think it goes directly to the screen....
    1. aries_green_monkey's Avatar
      aries_green_monkey -
      So let me get this straight, they, after 3 years of iPhone releases which fixed the keyboard issue (its called landscape n00bs!), came out with an UGLY @$$ piece of bulky rubber (soon to be plastic) keyboard??!

      So when i decide i want to listen to music, i have to take off the case? When i want to play Pocket Tanks i have to take off the case? When i want to SLIDE TO UNLOCK, the case has to come off?

      This is hardly worth $10, let alone $35 (after shipping). I understand it must have taken a lot to make it accessible with the dock connector, but if this would have come out, say, 3 years ago, it might have been worthy of such a price tag.