Feeds

back to article Foldable NFC keyboard could tempt Android users

Japanese electronics firm Elecom is claiming a world first with the launch of an NFC-enabled portable keyboard designed to work with Android smartphones – a gadget which could appeal to time-starved, fat fingered mobile workers. The keyboard, designed in collaboration with Norwegian firm One2Touch, is similar in layout to a …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge
FAIL

Can't replace the battery?

One word: FAIL!

17
1
Silver badge
Meh

In cold weather

It could probably double up as a scarf.

5
0
WTF?

Re: Can't replace the battery?

unless they are selling them for less than £10, I totally agree.

Who actually has the thought pattern of "lets put a battery in there that can't be replaced or charged?"

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't replace the battery?

Someone has been watching apple I see!

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't replace the battery?

>Who actually has the thought pattern of "lets put a battery in there that can't be replaced or charged?"

Apple are half way there.

Even if the battery could be replaced, and I suspect a craft knife would help nicely here, it's still too expensive.

3
0
Facepalm

Re: Can't replace the battery?

"Who actually has the thought pattern of "lets put a battery in there that can't be replaced or charged?"

Someone who's just worked out that it could be used for 8 hours a day for 18 months on a non- replaceable, non- rechargeable battery, considered what that actually means in terms of a more likely usage pattern for a gadget like this, and then looked at how much they can save on the cost by missing out the battery access and/or charging circuitry. This might also explain why it's NFC rather than Bluetooth...

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Can't replace the battery?

Throw away instead of charging... Not very green is it!

And at that price, not what I'd call disposable.

I'm sure given the silicone construction, it wouldn't be long before someone cuts it open and finds a way to power it externally.

Now the other problem I see is the layout. I can't imagine it's too nice to type on spaced like that, and it also limits the user base... If the gap is for a smartphone, a Nexus 7 won't fit. If it's 7" tablet sized a bigger one won't fit, and phones will look a bit lost in the middle.

Surely a better design would be to have a standard keyboard layout and have the NFC part unroll to the top? (and a way of charging it of course).

I think I'll stick with the Nexus 7, OTG cable and mini USB keyboard all the same. Somewhat cheaper and not like typing on dead flesh!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't replace the battery?

considering what its made of, I suspect after 8hrs per day for 18months, some of the keys would be badly worn/torn anyway.

0
0
Joke

FAIL

The way Samsung are going with their screen sizes the next generation models won't fit on that NFC pad vertically never mind hoizontally. Their owners might have to wait for the keyboard the length of a ski pole

5
1

To hell with that!

That's ridiculously wasteful.

8
1
Meh

Battery aside.....

.... I rather like it.

And one /could/ argue that, for a tenner a month, no cables or recharger to carry, for the mobile worker, it is worth it. And in 18 months, see what else is on the market.

0
3

Re: Battery aside.....

One could, but one would be kidding one's self.

9
0
Bronze badge
Joke

Re: Battery aside..... weigts OUTside

They should fashion it from materials suitable for diving so divers can recycle them as ballast. Weight? Wait... The non-removable battery might leak.

0
0
Bronze badge
Happy

Re: Battery aside.....

And one /could/ argue 'chocolate teapot'...

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Battery aside.....

> I rather like it.

Have you tried typing on a foldable keyboard?

Once the novelty wears off[1], it makes for a pretty crap keyboard unless you've got a very flat, solid base to put it on. And even then, it's really not great.

Vic.

[1] That's quite astoundingly soon...

1
0
xyz
Joke

Can't replace the battery?

Does that mean that they're going to be sued by Apple for patent infringement?

13
4
Joke

Re: Can't replace the battery?

If not the battery they are copying Apples invention, the keyboard.

7
2
Big Brother

Re: Can't replace the battery?

That's no joke, xyz - Apple is no doubt already preparing to sue in Ms Koh's court....

Henri

0
0

what am i missing?

NFC? why would a standard bluetooth keyboard for Android not work:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9220751/3_Bluetooth_keyboards_for_Android_tablets_

2
0

Re: what am i missing?

This is for phones really, rather than tablets. No idea if NFC is superior though. That innovation seems to have passed me by and I know my Galaxy S2 hasn't got it.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: what am i missing?

"This is for phones really, rather than tablets"

So?

Don't tablets and phones both have bluetooth these days?

Haven't phones had bluetooth (some even had working bluetooth) since long before NFC was fashionable in the media?

0
0
Facepalm

Re: what am i missing?

The "phones, rather than tablets" comment was in response to the URL. All those keyboards are way too big to be a practical companion for a phone.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: what am i missing?

You're missing the fact that NFC uses much less power than a bluetooth battery hog, which is pretty important when you can't replace or recharge the battery...

0
0
Trollface

jim and xyz, be prepared for a subpoena: didn't you know that Apple also own the copyright to all words?

4
0
Silver badge

Can't replace the battery ?

Uh, it's made of silicon, right ?

Silicon has a dismal resistance to a cutter blade, but reacts well to sticky tape.

I think there will be a load of DIY battery-changing tactics in short order.

And if you screw up with the cutter, well the replacement isn't all that expensive. Actually, the new battery would probably be as expensive as the keyboard. Hmm, why bother then ?

Maybe that's the idea.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Can't replace the battery ?

I have a genious idea, since people want a keyboard on their phone. How about a phone with a slide out keyboard? I could patent it and make millions.

10
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't replace the battery ?

"And if you screw up with the cutter, well the replacement isn't all that expensive. Actually, the new battery would probably be as expensive as the keyboard. Hmm, why bother then ?"

Am I missing something, or did the article state that the keyboard costs £152.47?

Doesn't sound cheap to me.

1
0
FAIL

weird

12" keyboard and a 4" screen. Sounds comfortable.....

1
0
Anonymous Coward

My thoughts while reading that went like this

Oooh!

Want!

Want!

Wantwantwantwant!

You can't do WHAT with the battery?!?

HOW MUCH?!?!?!?

Don't want :-(

9
0

Re: My thoughts while reading that went like this

Sounds about right. Disposable things shouldn't cost £150.

...well unless they're made by NASA. But at least when they put a battery that can't be replaced in something, they make it a nuclear reactor.

3
0
g e
Silver badge
Facepalm

Why bother when there's this and similar...

http://www.ankaka.com/flexible-bluetooth-wireless-keyboard-for-apple-ipadcomputersmartphone_p46685.html#.UCInkfaPXK0

There you go, slap an NFC sticker on it. Twenty quid.

0
1
Facepalm

A solution looking for a problem

And this is better than a Bluetooth keyboard, how?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

A solution looking for a problem

Compared to Bluetooth this is really low power, at both ends.

Will not flatten your phone battery, also internal (keyboard) battery

lasts for ages.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

2 half-keyboards make one not

I can see myself wanting to re-learn touch-typing, to account for the [tablet] space in the middle, placed horizontally, no doubt ;) NOT.

0
0
Silver badge

errr no. I use an ancient freecom foldable keyboard (with a free BT HID driver from the app store). Works just fine on my android phone and tablet. Folds up and takes AA batteries. Cost be about £20 from ebay back when I have a win 6.1 phone (ah good old omnia!)

1
0
Silver badge
Go

Battery that apparently cannot be removed or charged

Challenge Accepted!

4
0
FAIL

That looks absolutely rubbish.

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Not rubbish

It's WEEE, which must be recycled.

0
0
Silver badge

Security?

Is the keyboard paired with the device, or will any one of them work on any phone using the software?

I'm thinking of a hacked one set to transmit the right key combinations to, say, dial a premium rate number, over and over as a 'drive by' attack in a busy train station.

And is the keyboard data encrypted? Right bit of hardware (a cantenna or even a receiver stuck to the underside of a train table in the hope of getting lucky) might suck up any passwords/credit card details entered via the device.

0
0

Re: Security?

I think that might be why NFC has an advantage here... only has an active distance of a few centimetres....(think oyster card activation distance and how you still have to virtually touch the contact plate to get let through the barriers at rush hour).. Can't recall exact distance but it isn't far.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Security?

I seem to remember UK.gov making that claim about the RFID in the spangly new radio passports that they forced everyone into getting.

Then those cheeky chappies at NO2ID find out that the range is a few centimetres.. IF you are being nice, and ONLY using standard equipment that follows laws on radio emissions and the likes. Otherwise you can get a range of anything from a couple of metres up to about 90 feet or so.

1
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Battery problem

"Now for the major draw back. According to Elecom, the device will feature a built-in battery that apparently cannot be removed or charged. It will last for 18 months if used for eight hours per day, but after that, the user is forced to buy a replacement keyboard."

This is quite likely to run afoul of EU law on waste electronic equipment.

Of course, it's also quite likely to run afoul of a scalpel wielded by a suitably creative-minded person.

0
0
Bronze badge
Coat

Acronomnom

I misread it as KFC keyboard and thought "hope they still have those lemon wipes if they are giving these away"

1
0

Questionable

I note that they describe this device as "waterproof". Good luck to them - most manufacturers today prefer the term "water resistant", it's much friendlier when it comes to a court case (for example). The device will never be made which can properly be termed "waterproof".

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Questionable

quote: "I note that they describe this device as "waterproof". Good luck to them - most manufacturers today prefer the term "water resistant", it's much friendlier when it comes to a court case (for example). The device will never be made which can properly be termed "waterproof"."

Well, unless it has a single, contiguous (no glued seams), injection molded silicone cover. Is a block of "pure" silicone waterproof? Is a seamless block of silicone formed around a component considered waterproof? Personally I'd accept block of silicone = waterproof to any reasonable definition of "waterproof" (e.g. IPx8 certified).

Sounds slightly less silly than "water resistant to 3km" as seen on some premium divers watches, which to my mind should also be considered "waterproof" as practised by consumer goods. How many of them will actually see use submerged below 1000m, never mind 3km? ;)

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Questionable

Hey Christian.

You still winding up the BSAC bods?

Vic.

0
0
Silver badge

Psion5 Clamshell Devices NOW.

PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY FUCKING PLEASE!

1
0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Obligatory...

"Now for the major draw back. According to Elecom, the device will feature a built-in battery that apparently cannot be removed or charged."

Challenge Accepted...

1
0

The disposable battery is probably to make it waterproof...

It's much harder to make a device waterproof when there's a battery compartment that you need to avoid shorting out, or a charging port.

I'd guess that's the reason the batteries aren't replaceable.

Unfortunately for the manufacturer, none of this changes the fact that they're charging about $200 for a disposable device (which, for the greens among us, is also not recyclable without more effort than post users are willing to put out). Few people would pay 5x as much as a normal bluetooth keyboard that could be recharged, for a disposable one that only lasts 18 months (assuming their battery life estimates are accurate, which battery life estimates never are).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Ummm... 8 hours a day?

Would anyone seriously expect to use this for anything approaching 8 hours a day? That's like using it to replace all other computers / tablets / typewriters(!) you ever use!

I suspect even an hour a day would be pushing it for most people, which then extends battery life to 10-15 years. So not convinced the battery life is an issue - though still wouldn't buy one; if I'm typing enough to need an extra keyboard then I want a bigger display too.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.