Collapsible 'TextBlade' Keyboard for iOS Devices Uses Just Eight Smart MultiTouch Keys

WayTools today debuted the TextBlade, a compact, collapsible keyboard that's just a third of the size of an iPhone. Instead of using traditional keyboard layout, it uses "next-gen key switch technology" to allow users to type using just eight large smart keys that represent the entire alphabet.

Described as the first MultiTouch keyboard, the TextBlade weighs 1.5 ounces and lasts for a month in between charges thanks to the lithium polymer battery built into the spacebar. Charging takes less than an hour and works through any USB port.

textblade
The TextBlade is collapsible and uses built-in magnets snap the pieces together into a form factor thats "as easy to carry as a pen," which was WayTools' main goal for the product. Its keys use a technology called "MagLever," which the company says is superior to a rubber spring keyboard with no drag, stretch, or wear.
TextBlade is brimming with advanced technology, including the World's first physical MultiTouch Keys, ultra low energy Bluetooth Smart, and the first MultiLayer Keys, bringing symbols and editing to home row ... all engineered into the most compact touch-type machine ever produced.
TextBlade uses the same character map as a traditional QWERTY keyboard, allowing people to use the same fingers to select the same letters as they would on a standard keyboard. This function makes typing on the TextBlade "instantly familiar" according to WayTools. The keyboard's eight smart MultiTouch keys are also described as "MultiLayer," allowing them to be used to select symbols and make edits quickly. All keys one might expect to find in an iOS-compatible keyboard, including keys for accessing audio controls and Siri, are included in the TextBlade.

Keyboard covers shrink keys, and fatten your tablet. Not TextBlade.You get full 19mm finger spacing – the same as a desktop.Precision keys outperform a MacBook Pro, with full 2mm travel and extra large keytops. TextBlade's innovative frameless array eliminates all keyboard shudder, with rock-solid grip that hugs the table closer than a MacBook Air, so it's even easier on your wrist. TextBlade's ultra-low profile is half as thick as an iPhone 6.
TextBlade can be pre-ordered from the WayTools website for $99, and will begin shipping out to customers in February.



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21 months ago
Hopefully they find a way to set up a demo display at a retail store. I feel this is definitely something that needs to be tried out before buying.
Rating: 5 Votes
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21 months ago

Is it three parts which are held together with nothing but magnets, or is their a fourth piece which is needed for keeping it together when it's collapsed? What are we supposed to do with that fourth piece when the rest is being used?


It appears the 4th piece can be used as a iPad stand while you're using the keyboard. Also it's pretty tiny, I wouldn't be all that concerned at where I was going to keep it when using the rest.
Rating: 5 Votes
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21 months ago

Cool idea, but I don't think I want to learn a *new* way to type.


Supposedly you don't have to. It's just like typing on a regular keyboard because you use the same fingers for the same keys. Pretty interesting premise... really want to find out if it really is as easy as the site says it is.
Rating: 4 Votes
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21 months ago
It looks super cool and portable, but a full size bluetooth keyboard can be had for around $60 - I'll wait until the second gen and a price drop once the initial R&D has been paid off.

It looks interesting, it'll have to be seen how intelligent the software is...

EDIT: If it works as well as that video, consider me sold!
Rating: 4 Votes
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21 months ago
This is a really neat and considerate design. The way that the thing neatly tucks into the stand and uses the space bar as the battery are brilliant, as well as snapping it together with magnets. The software features are also great, such as the way that you can easily select and edit text and even jump by word or line. This is one of the biggest problems with current keyboard designs when used with an iOS device. I usually end up just using my finger, which slows down my workflow. The magnetic USB charger is also pretty cool, and can charge right off your iPhone charger which is a nice bonus.

My biggest criticism is the use of brushed metal. Hopefully they will come out with a version that is bead blasted aluminum to match Apple products. I'd also like a black version as the current gray model looks rather bland. Beyond that I think a price of $79 is fair. Sure, this thing is neat and has value that might warrant $99. But I don't think the market will sustain that. This thing is pretty niche. $79 still puts it above many bluetooth keyboards.

I'll wait for the reviews and if it's any good I'll order one. My wife loves her ClamCase for her iPad Mini, but it's a little too chunky for me. I like the slim profile of my Air 2 so just went with the Black leather Smartcover. Something like this would be really handy for meetings around campus since it fits in my pocket. Would also be interesting to use it to take notes on my iPhone 6 Plus.
Rating: 4 Votes
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21 months ago
That little thing holding the pieces together is the stand for your phone or tablet.
Rating: 3 Votes
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21 months ago
Well this is something that a sensible person should definitely try out in person before buying…

But hey, the product looks great, the tech seems clever, the design is very well thought-out, and I really love their website and demo videos. Soooo… *impulse buy*

I'll report back in March. :D
Rating: 3 Votes
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21 months ago
Imagine this sort of thing on a MacBook pro with a larger sized trackpad (think Magic Trackpad, maybe bigger). I think that would be pretty cool.
Rating: 3 Votes
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21 months ago
Thought it looked ridiculous at first, but the edit keys video on their website sold it to me. Looks like a very nicely designed gadget. And they keys are actually bigger than a standard keyboard? That's clever.
Rating: 3 Votes
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21 months ago
Interesting...

If it works completely reliably without having to look down, allowing full-speed touch typing, then this will be my perfect mobile keyboard. I prefer keyboards with an angle ("ergonomic" keyboards,) but there are no good full-or-nearly-full-size portable ones. So I'm using a compact BT keyboard (Microsoft Wedge Mobile.)

If I can truly full-speed touch type on this, this will be amazing. I can't wait to try it in person.
Rating: 3 Votes
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