There have been plenty of physical keyboard options for iPhone users dissatisfied with touchscreen typing cross our desktop in recent times, from full-sized Bluetooth options, such as the Jorno folding keyboard, to cases with an integrated keyboard, such as the Nuu MiniKey. The latest to catch our eye, which falls into the second camp, is the Spike keyboard case combo from SoloMatrix that features a hinged physical keyboard that flips up to provide easy access to the full touchscreen.
Spike comes in two flavors: the Spike¹, in which the bottom half of the case containing the mini QWERTY keyboard needs to be physically removed and rotated 180-degrees to either safely store or reveal the keyboard, and the Spike², in which the keyboard can be flipped out from the rear of the phone without having to pull the case apart.
While the keyboard of Spike¹ does include a hinge, this only flips the keyboard to the side to provide access to the touchscreen’s full surface area, whereas the keyboard in the Spike² can be flipped 180-degrees without the need to pull the case apart. Both units also keep the iPhone’s Home button, volume controls, camera and dock connector clear and don’t require a Bluetooth connection or external power source.
In keeping with the iPhone color choices offered by Apple, both Spikes will initially be offered in either Pitch Black or Ice White. However, there are plans for other colors in the future. There will also be a special limited edition, all aluminum model with personalized engraving that is anodized in various colors, including “Kickstarter Green,” as SoloMatrix is using the crowd funding site to help get the product to market.
If SoloMatrix reaches its US$75,000 goal, the Spike¹ will retail for roughly $35, while the Spike² will sell for around $60. Both cases are designed for iPhone 4/4S, and the company says it will be ready to ship versions for the anticipated iPhone 5 by January 2013.
A number of pledge levels are offered on the project’s Kickstarter page, which stands at just under $46,000 of the $75,000 goal pledged at the time of publication, with 32 days left to run.
The company’s Kickstarter video pitch can be viewed below.