Monday, December 19, 2011

A device attempts to elevate the iPad's keyboard

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Even if you love the iPad, you're probably not keen to write your next novel using its on-screen virtual keyboard. You may not be thrilled to type up a lengthy email with it, either.

Steve Isaac felt the same way. A Seattle-based software designer who worked on an early tablet at computing startup Go in the '90s, Isaac was delighted when the iPad came out last year. He loved its svelteness, battery life and wireless connectivity.

"The iPad was amazing," he says. "It just did everything super, super well."

Well, almost everything. Though its touch-screen keyboard was miles ahead of what he'd seen on past tablets, he felt it still wasn't great for typing. And wireless keyboards that work via Bluetooth seemed too bulky.

So Isaac got to work on a way to make the iPad easier to type on — a stretchy silicone keyboard called the TouchFire that sits atop the tablet's on-screen keyboard when the device is turned on its side.

Isaac isn't unique in coming up with this type of device, but his invention has garnered an intense amount of support through Kickstarter — a website where entrepreneurs and artists solicit funding for their projects and often give rewards in exchange, such as a limited-edition poster or first version of a product. Learn More

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