We had told you a few days ago, about portable Bluetooth keyboards for your PCs, laptops and smartphones (click here to view post). Well, here is one more bit of news for you die-hard techies. The latest craze among smartphone accessories today, is the Folding Keyboard for smartphones. Yes, you heard us right. We are talking about full QWERTY keyboards that can fold several times over, to make a very tiny, but most useful gadget accessory. In this post, we bring you a roundup of some of the latest folding keyboards concepts for smartphones and PDAs.
Think Outside Bluetooth Stowaway keyboard
The Stowaway Keyboard from Think Outside is one folding QWERTY keyboard that has been designed for use on smartphones and PDAs. It is already quite popular as a peripheral, as it connects to a wide range of Pocket PCs and other Bluetooth-supported devices. Twin AAA batteries give the accessory at least two weeks of usage.
The Stowaway keyboard is really tiny when folded and hence, is very convenient for travel. When closed, it measures only 4”x5.5”. Upon opening, it becomes a full-sized laptop keyboard. It changes your smartphone or PDA into a complete mobile word processing center, in a matter of a few seconds.
Sturdy to hold and easy to open and use, the only issue on customers’ minds seems to be about its capacity to actually hold the smartphone in place, while in use. The groove supposed to house the handheld is too thin for some devices to fit in. Some of the smaller PDAs fit in perfectly well, while bigger ones required some degree of manipulation to be fitted into the groove.
The other problem was that using the keyboard also drained the PDA of its battery power. Otherwise, the Stowaway folding keyboard works beautifully. The software provided with the product, too, is excellent and easy enough to install and use.
Folding QWERTY keyboard concept for Windows Mobile smartphones
We have enough smartphones with slide-out QWERTY keyboards already available in the market today. But can you imagine what a smartphone with a folding keyboard would look like? Well, designer Yang Yongchang has now developed a concept of a Windows Mobile smartphone with a folding keyboard attached to it. This concept, presented as a part of Yanko designs, contains a huge capacitive touchscreen display, nifty little red trackball for navigation and an actual, desktop-sized folding full QWERTY keyboard clubbed with it. This product has been designed in order to outwit their rival, the netbook.
The folding keyboard featured here uses a clever tri-fold concept, with a small track-stick for cursor control. The multi-touch screen, you can see in the picture below, folds up from the center. Looks nice – we wonder how practical an idea this would be, though. Of course, the photograph you see here below is not that of the actual smartphone and may never really enter the market looking the way it is now. But that does not stop us from hoping, does it, guys?!
Motorola features the MOTOSPLIT with folding keyboard
Motorola, earlier this year, featured a prototype of its MOTOSPLIT Android smartphone. The phone comes with a rather bizarre design, with the QWERTY keyboard splitting into half, hiding behind the phone, when not in use. Below is a photograph of the strange handheld. This device is supposed to hit the markets in Q3 this year and will be introduced through AT&T, says an online source.
Strangely, Motorola has not officially confirmed any of this news yet. Well, we just have to watch and wait for more on this one. Take a look at the picture below and tell us what you think.