WayTools


'WayTools' Articles

WayTools' TextBlade Keyboard to Start Shipping to Test Group Users Next Week

In January of 2015, WayTools announced the TextBlade, a compact, collapsible keyboard that sparked a lot of interest with its unique multilayered layout that replaces a full keyboard with eight large smart keys. Refinements, production issues, and other hiccups have long delayed the release of the TextBlade, which was originally scheduled to ship out to pre-order customers in the early months of 2015. After a long development period that has frustrated many early customers, WayTools is finally ready to begin shipping the TextBlade, albeit with a caveat - a limited number of test customers will receive the first TextBlades that are going out, to provide final feedback before a full rollout. Starting late next week, pre-order customers who signed up for the TextBlade Test Release Group (TREG) in January and were accepted will start receiving TextBlade shipments. TextBlades will go out to testers on a rolling basis with shipments happening every few days. The Test Release Group was announced to customers through their pre-order page and while WayTools can't accommodate everyone who applied, a couple hundred customers will be participating and will be receiving TextBlades. Mark Knighton, WayTools' CEO, says the company is using the Test Release Group to iron out final bugs ahead of the full TextBlade release.We're not expecting huge problems. We think it will be firmware and we think it will be corner cases -- unusual cases. The basics are operating fine. What we're looking for is what happens when you press a weird button combination, or your unit gets stuck and

TextBlade Update: An Inside Look at Production Troubles and New Info on Shipping Estimates

In January, WayTools announced the TextBlade, a compact, collapsible keyboard for iOS devices and Macs that's quite unlike anything else that's available on the market. It replaces a full keyboard with eight large smart keys that take advantage of multilayering, giving users access to a complete set of keys and commands on a keyboard that fits into a pocket. WayTools began accepting pre-orders for the TextBlade at that time, garnering a huge amount of interest from people who were excited about the promise of a better mobile keyboard. The company initially planned to ship in February, but as customers who pre-ordered know, the TextBlade has yet to ship, having faced unforeseen production problems that led to a series of design tweaks. I visited WayTools in Santa Monica in March and was able to be one of the first people to see the TextBlade in person, give it a try, and watch it in action. The post that I shared of my experience garnered a huge amount of interest from MacRumors readers and other people curious about the TextBlade, and since then, I've been asked by readers on multiple occasions to share an update about what's going on behind the scenes at WayTools to cause the shipment delays. As of today, I'm able to provide an update, following multiple conversations with WayTools' CEO Mark Knighton, where we walked through the delays and went over some of the new features that have been added to the TextBlade since January. WayTools will be publishing an in-depth blog post that goes into even more detail on the problems the company faced with production, and

Hands-On With the Collapsible Magnetic 'TextBlade' Keyboard for iOS Devices

Back in January, WayTools, a company known for its high-quality NextEngine 3D laser scanner, surprised the world with a collapsible, magnetic keyboard unlike anything we had seen before. Called the TextBlade, the keyboard garnered a significant amount of attention from the media and from prospective buyers who were intrigued with its unique design. Commenters here on MacRumors and across the Internet were immediately curious about the TextBlade, and had several questions. How does it work? How easy is it to use? What's the learning curve? How does it feel? Today we're going to answer all of those questions and more. Yesterday, WayTools invited MacRumors to visit its headquarters in Santa Monica to get an exclusive hands-on first look at the TextBlade. We met with WayTools CEO Mark Knighton, and a group of engineers who helped develop the product to get details on how it works and to try it out for ourselves. Design The first thing that's important to know about the TextBlade is that its design, which is the culmination of years of work and experimentation, has been engineered to be completely different from any keyboard that's on the market today. According to Knighton, the company did not set out to develop a keyboard for the iPhone or the iPad, they set out to develop a keyboard that's a better experience, overall, than any available keyboard, mobile or desktop. Portability is one of the key qualities that dictated the design of the TextBlade. The team at WayTools firmly believes that an accessory designed for the iPad or the iPhone should be smaller

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. 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