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Ryan Seacrest funds development of Typo keyboard case for iPhone

updated 03:39 pm EST, Thu December 5, 2013

Venture thought to be worth over $1 million

TV host Ryan Seacrest and a venture co-founder have invested over $1 million in producing a keyboard case for the iPhone, the Typo Keyboard, sources say. The pair are eventually expected to invest over $5 million in their company, since other keyboard products are already in development. Seacrest claims that inspiration for the iPhone case came from the frustration of friends and peers carrying two phones: an iPhone as their main device, and a second phone for "typing and correspondence."

The initial Typo case took two years of development. It comes in two parts, and provides BlackBerry-style typing as an alternative to iOS' software keyboard. Some other features include backlighting, a battery indicator, currency shortcuts, and its own style of auto-correction. The case is shipping in January, but can be pre-ordered now for $99.

Buyers must have an iPhone 5 or 5s running iOS 6 or later. The case connects to a phone using Bluetooth 3.0, and recharges via a micro USB cable.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Maybe it's because I've never really used one extensively, but I never have understood the attraction of a tiny hardware keyboard, other than the ability to have more text visible onscreen. The keys aren't any bigger than on the screen, you have to push harder to get a response, unlike with a gamepad or larger keyboard, there's no real need to rest your fingers on the keyboard when not typing, and those of us with fat fingers are if anything more likely to have trouble targeting the tiny keys.

    A larger keyboard allows touch typing and the typist to rest their hands on the keys, so it's a somewhat different situation with a tablet--that, I can understand.

    But maybe there's something to it, and to each their own. One less reason to own a Blackberry, I suppose.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    While I'm sure a few people (mostly BB switchers) will like this, I have never in my life met anyone who carried two phones, with the second one for "typing." I've met people who carried two phones (work and personal), I've met people who carried a BT keyboard and stand for their iPad or iPhone for typing, and I've met people who bought a phone with a keyboard because they (incorrectly) believed they couldn't get used to a software keyboard. So I have to wonder what the size of the market for this (IMO) ugly add-on is really going to be. But hey, diversity is good, competition is good. Best of luck there, Seacrest.

  1. Inkling

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 07-25-06

    I agree with Makosuke. Tiny keys in portrait mode aren't an improvement over using the screen for anyone except Blackberry fans. I find the screen keyboard tolerable for the little typing I use my iPhone for. If I did type more, I'd probably get a keyboard that works in landscape. The last time I looked, however, there were none with specialized keyboard just for iPhones.

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-27-09

    The fact that this case is named after a *mistake* ("Typo") says it all.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Agree with chas_m. I have seen people carrying work and personal phones. But carrying a second phone just for keyboard's sake is never heard of (maybe because I don't work for Hollywood). Beside that extra keyboard sticking out from already long iPhone 5 is sure ugly.

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