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Back-type adds a physical keyboard to a tablet’s backside

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October 8, 2010

Impress your friends by back-typing

Impress your friends by back-typing

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Looking to make typing on tablet computers easier (and add another term to the mobile computing lexicon), French company AlphaUI is developing a “back-typing” concept that adds an external physical keyboard to the back of a tablet. The prototype device from AlphaUI is designed to attach to the back of smaller tablets with 5-7-inch displays and provides 24 standard-sized physical keys that are ergonomically placed within easy reach of the user’s fingers as they hold the tablet.

Since each letter key actually represents two letters, the device doesn’t do away with the onscreen keyboard. However, because the onscreen virtual keyboard only serves as a guide to direct the user’s fingers to the appropriate key, it can presumably be a bit smaller than an onscreen keyboard that is actually used for typing. Also, because the keys aren’t labeled, there’s also the possibility the keys could be mapped to a user’s own configuration.

The virtual back-typing keyboard

The form factor of the prototype actually looks like it would be pretty comfortable to hold too, being not dissimilar to a slightly oversized and more rounded PSP. And since the device allows eight fingers to be used instead of over-relying on the thumbs, it should cut down on typing fatigue.

It certainly looks promising for those who prefer physical keyboards to tapping away on a touchscreen for extended periods, but it might take a bit longer than the week the company says it should take users to be pumping out around 250 characters a minute.

Although the device is still only a prototype, AlphaUI recently asked for volunteers to beta test the external keyboard so it looks like it could be at the fine-tuning stage and we might see an actual product hitting the market in the not too distant future.

Via CrunchGear

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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5 Comments

This does look quite convenient.

Kris Lee
8th October, 2010 @ 03:42 am PDT

It wud take time to get used too...

akshaysulakhe
8th October, 2010 @ 07:23 am PDT

Seems too stressing for fingers to tipe and hold it at same time. Besides you can't have it laied on a table or legs while pressing rears.

Facebook User
8th October, 2010 @ 05:28 pm PDT

hooo nowz, et mite halp me yto tipe betr!

Will, the tink
8th October, 2010 @ 10:14 pm PDT

Yeah i can see a future for it. It might actually be better than a normal kwyboard and surely better than an on-screen one, once you get used to it.

Facebook User
11th October, 2010 @ 11:06 am PDT
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