While all of us here at DT think the iPad is the clear winner among tablets and in general a pretty great device, one fault pops up again and again as something that needs a fix: The iPad’s super-sensitive virtual keyboard is just nothing like typing on a real keyboard. It’s without a doubt one of the biggest complaints about the iPad, so naturally more than a few brands have tried to address the problem mostly with variations on the Bluetooth keyboard. An idea that we hadn’t seen before appeared on Kickstarter and is on its way to becoming a smart new product for the iPad. The iKeyboard ($30) is a thin, soft keyboard that ‘piggybacks’ onto the iPad itself, enhancing the already-present virtual keyboard instead of replacing it with a Bluetooth version.
As the Kickstarter iKeyboard page explains, the problem with the virtual keyboard is that you can never rest your hands on the keyboard in order to ‘touch type’ but instead must ‘hunt and peck,’ looking for each letter before typing. This means that when typing on your iPad, instead of being able to multitask and let your hands do the typing, your brain must be fully involved in the ‘hunt and peck’ typing process. The iKeyboard is a soft overlay for your virtual keyboard that gives you the advantages of being able to rest your hands on the ‘home’ keys and press down on thin keys to get the tactile response of a normal keyboard.
Although anyone who writes lengthy papers or notes on their device would probably be better off with a full Bluetooth keyboard, this flexible accessory might be a life-saver for people who have trouble writing even short emails on the iPad’s keyboard. Another great feature of the iKeyboard is that it doesn’t require any Bluetooth use, charging, or batteries, making it convenient and eco-friendly at once. The project has already reached its funding goal and is scheduled to start production on June 28.
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