Remember what it's like to feel an actual keyboard under your fingertips? Keasy does it. one. two. type.
What is it?
We are used to navigating our computer keyboards by touch. However, when it comes to our smartphones, we have to keep our eyes glued to the touchscreen to type the correct keys. Lets change that.
Keasy is a case for your smartphone with a built in keyboard. When you need the keyboard, you simply slide it out from the back of the case, and slide it into position on the front. Once in place, It covers the on-screen keyboard, allowing you to actually feel the individual keys while you're typing.
With a transparent keyboard, you'll easily be able to find and enter punctuation marks and symbols. In fact, the Keasy keyboard app has a slightly modified symbol keyboard to ensure that each symbol matches up with a button. This app has already been created and will be available for free of course when Keasy starts shipping. The app will offer various language options soon, and since the keyboard is transparent, it'll work with those layouts too!
To further help you feel your way around the keyboard, there is a small raised ring on top of the D and J keys. Imagine not having to stare down at your phone while you're typing until you're ready to hit the send key.
As a kid I would tear open old radios or anything else my parents permitted and take a good look inside. I wasn't quite as good at putting them back together though. That was the beginning of my fascination with gadgets.
A couple of years ago I became a contributing gadget blogger. Specifically I wrote about the Galaxy SII and then subsequently about the Galaxy S3. This included reviewing phone accessories, which I happily received for free in exchange for an honest blog post review.
Then, one year ago, becoming frustrated with the keyboard on my smartphone, it occurred to me that there might be something I could do about it. Touch screens were great, but you couldn't feel what you were doing. Typing on my computer keyboard was so easy. I could feel where all the keys were with my fingers and I didn't make nearly as many mistakes. I figured there had to be a way to improve the typing experience on a smartphone.
So, I got it into my head that I would develop a simple overlay for the screen and see if that worked. My first home made attempt was a failure. The second wasn't much better, but at least it was moving in the right direction. Finally the third keyboard I cobbled together was a working proof of concept. It could be done!
Present & Future
As you've seen, Keasy is now a pretty slick little product that is almost ready for production with a patent pending.
The current version is for the Samsung Galaxy SIII. But, that's not the end of Keasy. The functionality can very easily be translated to other touchscreen smartphones. The future of Keasy includes cases for the most popular smartphones available including the latest and greatest from Samsung, Apple, HTC, Nokia, Sony, etc., so get Kickstarting!
In the future I will also be developing variations with more rugged keyboards & cases, keyboards that are stored and used in a different way, and maybe even powered keyboards down the line.
Just in case you were wondering, here is the first sneak peek of the first iPhone version prototype.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
One of the biggest challenges has already been overcome. I have established a relationship with the manufacturer in Taiwan (thanks to my man on the ground there -Thanks Matt!) and developed a working prototype. The next biggest challenge is getting the funding necessary to put Keasy into production. The manufacturer I am using specializes in making phone cases and accessories so their experience here is invaluable. The most expensive single part of this process is the tooling. This is when the manufacturer assembles and customizes the machines that can actually make Keasy cases.
As the manufacturers have already worked with me in the development of the prototypes they are as keen as I am to get the product to market. The main challenge now will simply be fine tuning the product and ensuring that production goes ahead on time. There are small alterations to be made in order for Keasy to work just the way I want. This should only take a couple of weeks. Once I have signed off on the final product, tooling will take approximately one month, and production will take no more than one month.
This Kickstarter campaign has focused on the S3 for a couple of reasons. Even though the S4 is now out, there is already a HUGE S3 customer base. The iPhone is an obvious option but Apple products always seem to get everything first. The campaign only covers the S3 version of Keasy to get production started. Tooling costs apply to each and every version of the case that's made, so at launch it seemed sensible to start with one version only. However, as soon as possible I'll be creating variants for other popular phones like the S4 and iPhone for instance. Of course, without support for this version of Keasy, other versions may never be available. So I encourage everyone to be a Kickstarter not only to support this one version, but any number of versions that I'll bring to market down the line.