Portable Bluetooth One Handed Keyboard from iFrog
By Mike Hanlon
October 20, 2004
Data entry innovator FrogPad has announced the global release of iFrog, a portable one-handed keyboard with Bluetooth connectivity, and is sure to grab a share of the global market searching for efficient means of using their mobile devices on the fly.
The iFrog is a one-handed portable keyboard compatible with Bluetooth-enabled computers and handhelds, offering a small, portable fully functional keyboard which can be used with a suite of devices thanks to its wireless connectivity.
The FrogPad keyboard is 20% of the size of a traditional keyboard, yet easier to use because it is designed around the 15 most-frequently-used letters in the Roman alphabet. Unlike a traditional QWERTY layout, whose design was derived from the limitations of 19th Century typewriter technology, the FrogPad \ has an ergonomic layout designed around the 15 most-used letters in the English alphabet. So if you are attached to the QWERTY keyboard layout, this product is not for you.
The QWERTY keyboard was invented some time in the 1860s yet still exists today as the principal Computer Human Interface (CHI). It is also the main limitation we face every day in getting information into computers, as it was designed a century before humanity had more than a rudimentary understanding of the challenges of CHI design.
For the record, it was invented by Christopher Latham Sholes(1819-1890), a U.S. mechanical engineer who patented the first practical modern typewriter in 1868. The typewriter was first manufactured by Remington Arms Company in 1873 and prior to the advent of the computer, was the most significant everyday business tool. They developed what has become today's standard "QWERTY" keyboard and if you glance at the keyboard in front of you, you'll see the top line is an anagram of the company's brand which became a word of common usage - typewriter.
The world is full of hunt-and-peck typists who have never learned to use the QWERTY layout optimally and tests show that many modern keyboard designs (Dvorak, chord, etc) are far more efficient, yet the QWERTY layout has become the global interface for computers almost by default.
The FrogPad offers for the first time a good reason to break the tyranny of the QWERTY layout, which is difficult to incorporate in a handheld device. It's very practical and compact 3" x 5" size means it can be carried and used with hadhelds and it may offer the killer app which enables the widespread adoption of portable messaging. It offers full functionality, a low profile and full-sized keys that allow fast, easy and accessible data entry.
By 2005, Accenture estimates the convergence of embedded wireless devices on the Internet to be in the range of 1.7 billion globally. FrogPad estimates that 50% of these devices will require a portable compact fully functional data entry device.
Just a note: potential users should check their software and hardware supports the Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) profile, which describes how a keyboard will communicate with another Bluetooth device.