When the iPhone first came out, there was plenty of debate as to whether it should have shipped with a keyboard or not. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously laughed at it. Fast forward a few years later, both BlackBerry and Windows Phone all have flagship phones without a physical keyboard.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the folks who were previously pining for a physical keyboard have changed their tune. Now celebrity Ryan Seacrest has co-founded and invested over $1 million to come up with the Typo keyboard case, which costs $99 and I hope doesn’t cause typos.
The current photos of the device show a keyboard that resembles a BlackBerry keyboard, which should be welcome for keyboard junkies. One thing I did notice was that the keyboard seemed to obscure the home button, which is a pretty important button for the iPhone.
Getting into the hardware game is never easy, but if it’s successful, it could be a useful tool for keyboard lovers out there.
“The back story of Seacrest’s interest in this — for many of his friends and colleagues, carrying two phones was a habit: One for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for virtually everything else. One night, Ryan and his friend Laurence Hallier, CEO of Show Media, were out to dinner and both had phones on the table. Two people, four phones!”
Instead, after testing out a bunch of such offerings — and there are a lot out there as competition — it took two years of development to get to the Typo, which seems to clip onto the smartphone like a protective case (I have not tried it, as yet — though I type just fine on a virtual keyboard). It will be available first for the iPhone 5 and 5s, and then for other smartphone devices and tablets, Typo said