The Smartype seems better suited for hunt-and-peck typists who spend more time staring at their keyboard than their displays. But its creators claim its tiny display will actually make even touch-typists more productive by allowing them to concentrate on the keys at hand.
The Smartype display's primary raison d'être is to mirror your computer's screen, but only what you're typing so you don't have to keep looking up while you pound away at the keys. It seems a bit redundant for touch typists who rarely needs to glance at their keys, but if you haven't the mastered the QWERTY keyboard it could theoretically improve your typing speed. And of course any device with a display has to run apps these days, so the Smartype promises minimalist versions of Twitter and Facebook among other quick-glance software.
Official pricing hasn't been announced yet — though the keyboard is up for pre-order and is promised as "Coming Soon!" But if it crosses the $US100 threshold, it could have a hard time convincing consumers it's worthwhile.