Monday, 19 January 2015 14:42

VIDEO: New multi-touch TextBlade keyboard for smart devices is WAY out there

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An incredible new multi-touch yet full-travel physical keyboard for iPhones, iPads, Androids and other devices has launched for US$99 - and it looks so amazing I bought one.

The TextBlade keyboard by WayTools for smart devices is nearly here, and it looks stunning, as you’ll see in the embedded video below.

Available for pre-order now with deliveries starting in March, this keyboard looks set to revolutionise the physical keyboard touch-typing experience for virtually any device you can pair a Bluetooth keyboard with.

The company’s goal is to deliver ‘great touch typing - as easy to carry as a pen’, and if the pre-launch hype and videos are to be believed, WayTools has done it.

Watch this video to see what I mean:

The keyboard is just 1.5 ounces, which is 42.5 grams, and it’s 1/3 the size of an iPhone, making it incredibly light and small, and ultra pocketable.

Naturally, it is patented and billed as having ‘next-gen key switch technology’ that provides ‘desktop finger-spacing, and full 2mm travel’ - which WayTools says is even more travel than a MacBook Pro.

This makes it the ‘slimmest full QWERTY device ever made.’

Mark Knighton, CEO of WayTools said: “TextBlade is an entirely new class of device that delivers professional-grade, familiar touch typing to any platform - from iPhones to iPads to Android, without compromising the size or feel of the tablet."

As a Bluetooth wireless device, there’s no fiddly cables, and you’re ready to start typing ‘in seconds’ whenever you need ‘serious typing’, while being out of the way and invisible when consuming content - which makes it sound a lot easier and less fiddly than the TouchFire silicon keyboard layer that I bought for my iPad but stopped using a long time ago.

Inbuilt are the ‘world-first physical Multitouch keys’, ultra-low energy Bluetooth Smart and the first Multilayer keys’.

As you can see from the video, the battery is even enclosed within what ends up as they space bar, with everything connecting via magnets.

Battery life is a month, with a charge time of just minutes - the battery pops out of the keyboard and has a built-in USB port, so again, no cables.

WayTools says that within is a ‘network of 4 computers with 100X the processing power of legacy devices drives advanced software intelligence.’

There are six US and foreign patents and more than a dozen pending to protect the TextBlade IP, although one has to wonder how long it will be before China’s famous cloners in those Shanzai factories try copying this clever keyboard.

Even the WayTools website is a revelation - it’s one of the snazziest looking websites I’ve seen in a long time.

I even opened the site on my iPad and ordered there - it was an almost Apple-esque magical ordering experience in itself.

All that needs to happen now is for March to arrive as quickly as possible so my TextBlade arrives and I can experience the magic for myself, as I ordered one as soon as I read about it at TUAW

So … if you want to take your typing experience into the 21st century, this way out there new tool may well be the tool to get you there!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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