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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. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Looks a lot more like a Pre-style keyboard than a BlackBerry-style keyboard no matter how you look at it.

      How can this work without official Apple support?
    1. toyvan's Avatar
      toyvan -
      this thing is hideous!
    1. A_DuB187's Avatar
      A_DuB187 -
      Having a keyboard on my phone would actually slow my typing WAY down. I can type WAY faster on my virtual keyboard then I ever could on a phone with a LANDSCAPE qwerty.
    1. ai1973's Avatar
      ai1973 -
      lol
    1. k.nitsua's Avatar
      k.nitsua -
      Quote Originally Posted by luksoccer View Post


      now id buy something like that

      hope it works this time

      Imageshack - externalkeyboardiphone
      Awesome, I'd totally buy that. I already have a flip case on my iPhone. This would just make it more useful.
    1. pacmac's Avatar
      pacmac -
      i bought the landscape mode one..
    1. equlizer's Avatar
      equlizer -
      Quote Originally Posted by k.nitsua View Post
      Awesome, I'd totally buy that. I already have a flip case on my iPhone. This would just make it more useful.
      Now add a "D" pad on the bottom someplace and ill buy it!!!
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      If I wanted a cumbersome phone I would have bought one to begin with. They better slap a battery pack on it due to the limitations of the iPhone's battery. Another thing I am not giving up is my case...which would have to be taken off to use this. Virtual keyboard ftw!
    1. gepalex's Avatar
      gepalex -
      Srsly, how do u frieking type numbers? you cant change the menu!!
    1. Shred Nasty's Avatar
      Shred Nasty -
      It's cool that someone made it...I guess. But it's the bulkiest, most ugly, not to mention pointless (for me) piece of crap I've ever seen in my life IMHO. The evolution of the physical keyboard COULD turn out to be a great accessory, but sadly, I doubt it. Til there's a $5 bluetooth keyboard, I'm good.

      Although, I'd really like to know how many smart guys went out and bought an iPhone for hundreds of dollars, then signed a multi-thousand dollar 2 year contract, all without being able to type on a touchscreen? Well, if you're that brilliant genius, I guess you've got another 100+ bucks to shellout on a gianormously hugemongous keyboard that works in portrait only and blocks 60% of your screen.....
    1. aries_green_monkey's Avatar
      aries_green_monkey -
      Quote Originally Posted by gepalex View Post
      Srsly, how do u frieking type numbers? you cant change the menu!!
      Dang, i didn't even think of that. GREAT point. The only way they could make it change screens is to make it a...... VIRTUAL keyboard. LMAO! Looks like somebody REALLY didn't think this through AT ALL.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by aries_green_monkey View Post
      Dang, i didn't even think of that. GREAT point. The only way they could make it change screens is to make it a...... VIRTUAL keyboard. LMAO! Looks like somebody REALLY didn't think this through AT ALL.
      If you look at it closely, it has the numbers and symbols in super-small print above the letters like any sh!tty LG enV^over9000 or CrackBerry.

      Has anyone seen the "Samsung Alias 2?" If you have, Apple needs to take that idea for a keyboard and run with it. If you haven't, the keyboard is actually physical, but each key has an LCD screen and backlight inside it, making the idea of a dynamic hardware keyboard a reality. When in landscape, the keys display the QWERTY format, but when it is opened up in "phone" mode, they display numbers, along with the ABC format underneath for texting. This, in my opinion, is a brilliant idea, allows for possible keyboard customization, and makes it a lot easier to read what you are typing than ANY other hardware keyboard.

      Take a look here: Enter your location

      I totally wouldn't mind having an iPhone with a keyboard like that. I have a friend with the Alias 2, and I'm actually quite envious of his keyboard.
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      ^^ That's hot
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by blkcadi View Post
      At least IMHO they got the name right iTwinge because that's exactly what it makes me do, twinge. ewwww
      lmao
      automatic fail
      i think this idea is horrible and ruins what the iPhone is supposed to be about
      ridiculously ugly as well