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Keydock Turns Your Smartphone into a Computer!

Despite it's classic style, this incredible mechanical keyboard has 27 awesome features that you will never guess!

Keydock Turns Your Smartphone into a Computer!

Despite it's classic style, this incredible mechanical keyboard has 27 awesome features that you will never guess!

€29Delimiter056
Pledged OfPledged Of Goal
233
Backers
13Days Time To Go

All Or Nothing This Project Will Only Be Funded

About

Keydock is already the best mechanical keyboard you could get for your computer, with a crazy amount of awesome features. Including : ethernet, HDMI, 4 USB, SD, SSD... All you need to have a desktop productivity out of your ultrabook!

But we would not be on Kickstarter just for that! Keydock also have a very special feature !

 Keydock can turn your smartphone into a desktop computer! 

Today, our cell phones have replaced so many devices that we used before :  GPS,  cameras,  music players, game consoles and so much more thanks to countless apps available. They got so powerfull that today your smartphone is maybe more powerfull than your current computer. 

The only problem? Their small screen size and limited mobile interface that limits our productivity.

That's why we created Keydock!

Keydock is a docking keyboard that unleash your smartphone (or tablet!) power and brings you a whole new experience!

Once you connect your smartphone to Keydock, the Android interface is presented in Windows-like desktop environment, with resizable windows, mouse cursor, file manager, web browsers...

You can then do pretty much anything you would do on a computer: 

Surf the internet and check your emails

Create and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations

The complete Office suite, and the Open-office suite are both available on Android. Create and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets.


Watch movies from your phone, Youtube or Netflix

Play video-games

Besides the tons of games available for android, you can also enjoy classic windows games through emulators like Exagear, Limbo. Or if you need the latest most demanding windows-only video games, or others windows-only demanding softwares, there're cloud computers (like shadow.tech)  that will run them for you at highest performances.

Write code

 Get your work done with real productivity. 

 Print and Scan documents

Android has integrated the Mopria Alliance standards to bring a native and no-thought-requiring printing function to all Android devices. As long as you're connected to the same Wi-Fi network as a Mopria-certified printer (Mopria says 97% of printers sold nowadays do), all you have to do is tap the print command in any app that offers it.

Same for scanning, Mopria offers an app supporting most scanners brands making the whole process seamless. 

Edit videos

 And so on...


Going one device has several advantages : 

  • First and most importantly: It's just so convenient. Your computer is always in your pocket following you, ready to use. No waiting for powering-on old PC. No more data synchronization between your office, your home, your smartphone. It's always there ready to serve. 
  • It's also saving you a LOT of money. Hardware such as laptops, desktop computers and smartphones get outdated or laggy very quickly. Which makes you spend a lot of money purchasing new ones. Using your smartphone as a PC basically mean you have a new PC for free everytime you change your phone!
Laptops, computers and smartphones have average lifespan of 3 years.
  •  It saves a LOT of time. Blue-screen-of-death, freeze, lag, crashes, hardware faults... How many time do you spend fixing and tuning your computers/phones? Hardware is prompt to become faulty either by software, virus or hardware issues. I spent so many frustrating weeks trying to fix crashing computers or laggy phones. Having one device means you will have to maintain only one !
Stop losing time maintaining so many devices!
  •  No more empty batteries! Keydock Fast Charge your smartphone. You're probably using computers hours everyday. That means your phone will just always be charged. No more "oh no I forgot to charge my phone yesterday evening"!
  •  Less electronic waste for the environment. If you stop buying laptops and desktop computers, automatically that means less waste. Because hardware have short life-cycles, our homes get filled with old cumbersome ones that no one wants. 
  • Start a movie in the subway, and finish it on your TV without riddles.

Besides turning your smartphone into a desktop computer, Keydock is very handy in a lot of situations!

Bring connectivity to your ultrabook !

Recent laptops tends to offer little connectivity. Some, such as Macbooks offer only USB-C and let you bring an external hub. Keydock brings you that hub together with a sleek prenium keyboard.

Turn a tablet into a desktop computer !

The same way Keydock can turn your phone into a desktop computer, you can do the same with android tablets!


Just use Keydock as a keyboard for your computer

As you'll see below, we made Keydock the best keyboard possible so that even if you don't plan to use it for your smartphone it can still be awesome for you!

In order to create THE ultimate working station for your smartphone or tablet, we brought together : 

  • A docking station with all the best features.
  • A classic full size mechanical keyboard, with all the best features.

Our plan is to create at the same time THE ultimate keyboard, so that even if you'r not planning to use KeyDock as a docking station right now, it can still be most usefull for you!

We struggle to fit our docking module inside the keyboard without increasing the dimensions of the keyboard while still having all the connectors you would need on a desktop computer.

  • 4 USB connectors (2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0) : connect all your peripherals : your mouse, USB sticks, external drives, gamepads...
  • Both HDMI and VGA ports are available! So you can connect easily to any monitor new or old (with the new DP alternate mode protocole).
New 28" HDMI display or old dusty VGA display? They all work.
  • Fast Charge your smartphone while it's docked and in use (with the USB-PD standard). That way you will never run out of battery ever again!
  • Additional storage drive : On Keydock you can connect a SSD drive (compatible M.2 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280) to stock your movies or others heavy files.

 At your home Keydock-station you can stock some movies and backup your pictures. At your office Keydock-station you can stock your work folders.

  • SD card reader & MicroSD adapter in the boxe
  • Stereo internal speakers
  • 3.5 Audio jack

 Specially handy if your smartphone don't have an audio jack ;)

  • Phone holder with anti-slip pad.
  •  Data input USB-C on bottom side, with our wire channels so you can route the cable different ways depending on your use : 

 To the smartphone holder? There's a Hole for easy and clean connection.

To the front to use your smartphone as touchpad mouse?

Using with your PC computer you can choose if cable goes out left, right, middle... Giving you a better cable management and cleaner desktop. 

When I started this project, I never paid attention to the keyboard I was using. At work I was using an old crappy keyboard for years. The backspace button was not clicking correctly which was driving me crazy. Interestingly I never thought of getting a great keyboard. Which is stupid as I spend most of my time typing on a keyboard! Investing in a good keyboard was definitely something I should have done years ago.

Is your keyboard as infuriating as this one? Time to replace it!

So when I started this project I discovered the different kinds of keyboards. There are two main famillies : 

  •  Membrane keyboards : Those are very cheap (hello $10 keyboards) to manufacture, lightweight and not very durable. They feel OK but not great.
  •  Mechanical keyboards : Those use actual individual switches on a PCB, giving a much better feel when typing. Also they are much more durable. But they are also more expensive ($50~$200).

When you take interest in the question, mechanical keyboards usually become the obvious choice, the investment is not so big considering the time spent on computers. It's like having a good mattress: if you think about it you spend about a third of your life on it. It's worth getting a great one.

So obviously when I designed Keydock I decided to go for a mechanical keyboard with Brown Switches (silent tactile feedback). 

Then I thought about what would make a great keyboard and decided to go on the quest of making the best one possible.

Step 1 : The layout

So first we go for a full size keyboard with standard layout. Available both in ANSI 104 keys QWERTY (USA standard) and ISO 105 keys AZERTY, QWERTY, QWERTZ... (European standard).

Step 2 : RGB backlight

Backlight are really usefull. Typing in the dark without is really annoying. So, backlight yes definitely.

Now the question is, single color backlight, or RGB backlight? I thought a lot about it, but if we're going for the best keyboard possible, then it's a must. And you don't have to use it if it's not your thing, you can just use the white backlight, or none.

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Step 3 :  N-Key Rollover

This is a basic of a good quality keyboard. This means that the keyboard register all the keys you press simultaneously. So that each keypress is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed or held down at the time. Immuning to both key ghosting and key jamming.

Step 4 : Compatibility with Android/Windows/MacOS/Linux

KeyDock is also compatible as a keyboard with Windows, MacOS, Linux and will provide a nice hub along. 

Note, while the keyboard, USBs ports, sd card reader will work with any android, to use the HDMI or VGA video output you need a phone that has a USB-C port supporting the "DP alternate mode" (a list can be found here).

Step 5 : Rulers onboard

On the edge of the keyboard we added discreet rulers. Need to take a dimension quickly? It's right there. Centimeters on bottom and left side, Inches on right and top side.

Note the rulers did not print out on 3D samples cases of the prototype. So the following pictures are 3D models and 3D renderings. The rulers will be discreet because it will be carved in the mold, such that it can be seen when looked at but without catching the eye.

cm ruler on left and bottom side.
Inch ruler on top and right side.

Because the 3D rendering don't show clearly the rulers, here are some 3D pictures where edges are outlined so that you can see more clearly : 

cm ruler on left and bottom side.
inch ruler on right and top side

Step 6 : 4 LED indicators

The 3 usual LED (caps lock, Num lock and ScrLk) and one additional LED called "Win LED". On Keydock you can disable the windows key with "fn+window key". So that when you use a full screen software or game with Windows OS, pressing the Windows key by error won't bring you back to desktop.

Step 7 : Media shortcuts that don't suck

The usual Fn+F1 ... shortcuts really suck. They are hard to press with one hand. So we decided to use good ones accessible easily with one hand.

Step 8 : Two small storages

Keydock is here to help you keep your desktop clean and sleek to boost your productivity. Store all your small things in those two cavities. USB keys, microSD, paper clips, sharpener...

People usually don't pay much attention at back of keyboards. But we do. We decided to find out what to do with the extra space available at the back of the keyboard to make the most out of it!

Step 9 : 7 ways cable rooting

Our cable channeling allows you to run the USB cable out 7 different exits for better cable management. Including :

  • One hole to route cable to the smartphone holder.
  • One routing on the front for when you want to use smartphone as touchpad mouse.
  • Five routing on the back to use KeyDock as a PC keyboard.

Step 10 : Hidden storage

Another storage to help you keep your environment clean!

Want to hide your locker's key maybe? Who will thought to check the back of your keyboard? This small hidden storage (190*40*10 mm) let you store all those small things.

Step 11 : Pencil slots

Two pencil slots are available on the side of the Keydock. Easy to access and use this enables you to always have pencils at hand while keeping your dekstop clean.

Step 12 : Double keyboard legs

Keydock use double legs, enabling you to choose the tilt of the keyboard between 3 positions.

Step 13 : Big rubber pads

To make sure you keyboard will not move around, we designed big rubber pads.

Step 14 : Protractor

A beautifull protractor. This might not be very usefull at the back of your keyboard you may say. But if you need it at some point it's right there! And it does not increase manufacturing cost, so why the hell not?

Having one device is so much more convenient that it will be the future for sure. Why bothering with multiple devices that just take so much time to maintain? And why spending so much money purchasing so much devices when one can do the job of all? With Keydock you will never have to buy another computer again. Everytime you get a new smartphone you'll be enjoying a new computer!

Why big manufacturers companies have not released yet a desktop mode you may ask? Well obviously some brands want you to buy their smartphones AND their ultrabooks. Obviously going one device means less sales for them..!

But a lot of users understood that and that's why there are a lot of projects aiming to bring the best desktop experience. And the good news is that Google understood that it's the future. That's why they integrated a first desktop mode to Android 10 ! 


Keydock is compatible with smartphones which have a USB-C port supporting the "DP alternate mode" (a list can be found here). The video over USB-C (DP alternate mode) is quite a new standard. So not all old phones will be compatible. That's why we designed Keydock to be also the best keyboard possible. Such that even if your current phone is not compatible, you can still get Keydock to use it as an awesome keyboard, waiting for your next phone.

Some devices support DP-alternate-mode but don't offer desktop interface mode. Currently only Samsung and Huawei developped specific desktop modes for their flagships,  DeX and Easy Projection respectively . For other phones there's android 10 native desktop mode and  some projects such as SentioApp OXI, Mura and others will give you such desktop experience.

That's something I often hear. Lot of kickstarter project are scams and never deliver their promised product. But that is because lot of them are selling ideas that are not ready to industrialize. Sometime you can even see their pictures are just 3D modeling, meaning they don't even have prototypes. Or they can have prototypes that are not ready for industrialized production.

As my 5 first Kickstarter campaigns (see Raspiboy, RetroStone, RetroStone2...) can attest I am as transparant as I can be, my prototypes are really ready for production. And I did delivered all my backers!

Please check on 8BCraft website for reviews of those first products and also on Youtube you can find lot of reviews of RetroStones and Raspiboys, showing you they do exist for real! :)

Joining me on kickstarter is not only about this awesome Keydock. It's also about the journey of the project! As you can check on my two three Kickstarter campaigns Raspiboy and RetroStones, I made a point to give good updates (check for yourself here and here). With interesting facts on production.

Here are exemples of what people thought of them!

End of crowdfunding

2019 : Injection mold making and production.

: Product certifications (CE and FCC certifications)

 : Shipping to you guys!

Risks and challenges

The main challenge is that enought people are interested in the project.
Everything is done on electronic design, 3D models, keycaps design and so on. We have a partner factory that is ready to make the production, and the logistic side is also prepared as I already doing it for the RetroStones!
So really, all Keydock needs now, is to find enought people interested! :)

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    One Keydock at almost early bird price!

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    Get 8 Keydock stations for your large family and friends!

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