For some reason, a small and backward-looking pool of people in the tech industry still believe that people hate typing on touchscreens. Hence this plastic monstrosity that seemingly aims to convert your sleek iPhone into a lumpen BlackBerry. Err, thanks?
A Kickstarter campaign that -- against all odds -- succeeded, Spike's TypeSmart keyboard swivels out from a case to lie on top of the iPhone's screen. It doesn't need separate charging, docking or an app; rather, it's a physical keyboard that uses capacitive conductivity to link your touch to the iPhone screen though the keyboard's buttons.
All of which might be interesting, if we hadn't all gotten used to typing on touchscreens. By now, nobody really grumbles about tapping out the short passages of text that phones and tablets are used to create -- so this keyboard only solves a problem that people thought was an issue a couple of years back.
If, however, you like the idea of turning your iPhone into some kind of mutant BlackBerry, the Spike TypeSmart will be available for iPhone 4 and 4s from February for $US50. The mixed-blessing -- and inherent time lag -- of Kickstarter being what it is, an iPhone 5 version will follow later. [Spike via CNET]