About this project
Awards and Recent Reviews
Redmond Pie – "Spike is the most impressive iPhone physical keyboard + protective case we’ve seen yet!"
Huffington Post - "[Spike] may force BlackBerry users everywhere to take a second look at the iPhone."
iPhone Life Magazine – "Finally, the Spike from SoloMatrix is a real BlackBerry-style keyboard for iPhone"
PC World – "As anyone who has typed on a glass keyboard knows, it's not the best surface for the task. Most people can type faster and more accurately with a tactile keyboard, and Spike lets people do that"
Consumer Electronics Association - Top 3 Most Innovative Products at the CE Line Show in New York City, June 2012
Today's iPhone – "It’ll easily be the most usable keyboard/case for iPhone yet"
Toronto Life – "As if RIM didn’t already have enough to worry about"
iMore – "The Spike TypeSmart keyboard case for iPhone looks to address the age-old argument of the hardware keyboard being a better way to input text"
UberGizmo – "SoloMatrix Spike gives your iPhone a unique physical keyboard"
Cult of Mac – "Spike case adds foldaway keyboard to iPhone"
Gotta Be Mobile – "This accessory could make the difference between using a BlackBerry and an iPhone."
Gizmodiva – "Spike is a unique iPhone case that serves the dual purpose of protecting your phone, and also providing you with a physical keyboard"
The Verge – "Fold-away physical iPhone keyboard hits Kickstarter"
Tornell – "BlackBerry fans, do not miss this opportunity if you want to see your dream come true"
AppsManila – "Go Crackberry on your iPhone with Spike's foldaway keyboard case!"
Trend Hunter – "A common complaint is a lack of a keyboard, and the Spike iPhone Case has now been created to solve this problem"
Design Taxi – "SoloMatrix have created an iPhone case that comes with a physical keyboard to make it easier for you to type."
AppsRumors – "It’s priced as normal iPhone protection cases so instead of buying a regular one, you also get the advantage of a real tactile keyboard"
Bite my Apple - Favorite Kickstarter Projects!
Spike: Making the iPhone as Easy to Type On as it is to Touch!
We’re not saying that the virtual keyboard that Steve gave us isn’t great, but typing more than a few words on glass isn’t great, accurate, or natural. That’s where our Spike TypeSmart keyboards come in. Unlike any other keyboards available today, we wanted to create a suite of products that complemented the iPhone’s impeccable quality and elegant form factor, and at the same time let you type and text easier, faster, and with fewer mistakes, under virtually all conditions – even if you’re wearing gloves!
Your Choice - Rock or Roll
We have carefully engineered Spike, so in a flash, you can transition from typing to making or receiving a call, launching any of your apps, or playing Angry Birds, and then back to typing, all without missing a beat! Because we believe you should always have a choice, our initial suite consists of two versions, Spike¹ and Spike². Both versions incorporate our proprietary TypeSmart keyboard that has been carefully integrated into handsome iPhone protective cases. Of course, we will manufacture them using only premium materials that are suitable for an Apple accessory product.
We call our keyboards TypeSmart, because they are the natural and smart way to type on your iPhone! Best of all, with Spike, you have a keyboard when you need it and it disappears when you don’t want it.
We all know that typing is not really precise by definition – precise |priˈsīs| adjective, marked by exactness and accuracy of expression or detail. However, we wanted to engineer a keyboard that would offer you the easiest, fastest, and most error-free way to type on your iPhone. We have paid careful attention to even the smallest detail and through rigorous user testing. We've designed a keyboard whose layout includes individually sculptured keycaps and snap-touch keys that lets your fingers find and feel every letter you type. Now, writing emails, texts, or your thesis couldn't be easier. Spike's keyboard simply provides the accuracy that typing on glass with fingers cannot ever achieve, that’s our definition of Precision Input!
It has taken us over two years to develop our proprietary TypeSmart keyboard technology (patent pending). This technology allowed us to create a keyboard for Spike, that in contrast to any other product, doesn’t require plugging in, Bluetooth, or any external power source. An additional benefit derived from this technology, is that unlike typing on the iPhone's touchscreen, if you have longer fingernails or even if wearing gloves you can still type and text like a champ using Spike's keyboard! Importantly, it let us design a full-function keyboard that is less than ¼ inch thick, enabling us to integrate the keyboard into a protective case, while maintaining the elegance and sleek form factor of your iPhone.
In the future, our TypeSmart technology will also be applicable to keyboards and input products for other touchscreen phones and tablets.
Spike¹ is a combination keyboard and protective case that can be easily and securely installed in a matter of seconds. You can effortlessly rotate the bottom section of the case with the keyboard, to the back or the front of the iPhone, for storing in either typing or full-screen mode. We’ve also hinged the keyboard, so you’ll always have quick access to the full-screen even when typing.
This model is priced in the same range as the majority of ordinary iPhone cases. This means that even for many users that don't feel they need a keyboard, it is so affordable that it's tough to pass up. And once they try it, they’ll soon realize the advantages of real tactile keys even though they feel they are proficient typing on the touchscreen.
Spike²is our premium version keyboard and case combination. It differs from Spike¹ in user convenience features and overall appearance. Its industrial-strength case not only protects your iPhone, but incorporates a unique and specially-designed asymmetrical 360 degree hinge. This hinge enables you to quickly toggle the keyboard on and off the screen for full-screen access while you are typing. In addition, it also allows you to fold and stow the keyboard in a flush pocket in the rear of the case when you’ve finished typing and return to the full touchscreen to run all those apps that you will probably never use more than once or twice. At a touch of your fingers, it can instantly be brought to the front to bang out a quick text message, email, or even type your first novel comfortably! And to make sure you are always in style, it features a beautiful, brushed metal accent band around the perimeter of the case.
Our Limited Edition Spike³is for those of you that appreciate the very best. Similar in design to Spike², but with an all-aluminum, antenna-neutral case including the TypeSmart keyboard that is easily stowed out of the way when not needed. We are CNC machining these right here in the USA from aerospace grade aluminum and anodizing them in at least two great colors, Neutron Gray and KickStarter Green, we anticipate a couple more anodized colors to come. To make it truly personal for you or someone special, we’ll custom engrave up to 30 letters on the back of the case.
Kickstarter Manufacturing Plan & Timeline
For production of our Spike¹ andSpike² TypeSmart keyboards in this project, we have established a manufacturing arrangement with an international contract manufacturer with factories on six continents. We developed the technology, produced and vetted the first series of prototypes here in Seattle, but the actual pre-production prototypes shown in this project were produced in our manufacturer's factory located in Malaysia. Our chief designer has had a relationship with this manufacturer for two decades and has already made two trips this year to the factory on our behalf. We have added to our team an on-site supervisor that lives in Malaysia that has also worked with our designer for the past twenty years. He is our boots-on-the-ground field representative and will oversee all aspects of production to help ensure that our products are manufactured to our specifications and in accordance with our timeline.
We will be producing the all-aluminum Limited Edition Spike³ right here in Seattle, Washington.
With your support we are planning for all versions of Spike to be on your iPhone during September. We are going to jump-start production for Kickstarter backers to make this happen. We plan to order limited production tooling shortly after the start of our Kickstarter program so we can start shipping in 90 days. Order early, get yours first.
What About the iPhone 5?
While we don’t know the exact date for the introduction of the long-awaited iPhone 5 from Apple, we all know it is around the corner. We also know that lots of existing iPhone users will be standing in line to get their hands on one. From the time we have one in our hands, we estimate that it will take approximately four (4) months to tool and manufacture Spike keyboards for the iPhone 5. In order to make sure our Spike collection will be available to all backers of this project, we have a special offer. As a backer, you will be able to purchase an equivalent iPhone 5 version of Spike¹ and Spike² for today’s Kickstarter prices of $25 and $50 respectively, at the time they become available. Of course, you will be among the first to have one in your hands.
Or choose from one of our two Future Proof reward options that give you both the iPhone 4 and 5 versions of our Spike keyboards when they are released.
This is where you play an important role.
Ever since the iPhone was introduced, a real physical keyboard has been at the top of the wish list of many users and prospective users! Together, with your help we can make one of the most requested iPhone accessories a reality. With your contribution, you become a Spike or Die team member, and be among the first to own whichever version of Spike you choose, before they become commercially available.
We are a small, dedicated team that formed SoloMatrix to create disruptive products for the iPhone, other smartphones, and tablets. We have spent over two years developing the TypeSmart technology that drives the keyboard, as well as, building and beta testing the prototypes and bringing Spike to its current pre-production level. We have already established the vital manufacturing relationships to get all models of Spike into immediate production. In fact, the units shown here and demonstrated in the video, are actual pre-production versions built to our specifications by our manufacturer. We know by experience that funding, manufacturing, and distribution is always a challenging undertaking. We also believe in the power of the community that is represented by Kickstarter and that it is a great way for a small group of people like us to be able to put a plan in place that properly addresses these challenges, and, to bring ideas such as Spike to fruition.
It is our sincere hope that you find Spike innovative and exciting and choose to support the project. Please tell your friends and help spread the word.
Thanks for your interest in our project!
Spike in the News
OhGizmo! – "The Spike case you see above is the best implementation of an add-on keyboard we’ve ever come across"
Think iOS – "So if you were counting on Apple to add a physical keyboard to iPhone, and have been disappointed from the company so far, Spike protective case seems like a good choice"
iJailbreak – "It’s just like the iPhone keyboard, but gives you feedback as you type away... A foldable physical keyboard case could also lure BlackBerry users to ditch their old devices and get an iPhone"
The Gadgeteer – "There must be 100′s of iPad keyboards on the market, but you don’t see many keyboards being offered specifically for the iPhone. The ones that you can find aren’t nearly as cool as the Spike Keyboard"
iDownload – "While we have seen plenty of keyboards for iOS devices in the past, this particular keyboard does something different, by making it easy for users to fold it away around the back of the phone and making the keyboard itself as easy to access as possible"
Geeky Gadgets – "Many have tried and failed to offer a good qwerty keyboard for the iPhone. Spike might be the best attempt yet"
iClarified – "Spike Protective Case Adds a Real Keyboard to Your iPhone"
Phone Arena – "If you like the idea of using a physical QWERTY keyboard on the Apple iPhone, and at the same time protecting your device with a case, you might want to take a hard look at purchasing one of the Spike models"
The need for a keyboard...
CNET - Does the iPhone need a real keyboard? “For many, the iPhone's virtual keyboard remains its Achilles' heel. Chances are Apple won't do an iPhone with a physical keyboard, but if it ultimately wants to lure away more BlackBerry users, it may have to.” David Carnoy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - “While I like the iPhone virtual on-screen keyboard, others hate it, and yearn for a device with both a great touch interface and a physical keyboard.” Walt Mossberg
Apple logo and Apple are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Spike¹, Spike², and Spike³ are registered trademarks of SoloMatrix Inc.
No, you never have to worry about charging or plugging Spike in!
Yes! Spike works on any iPhone 4 or 4S.
At this point, Spike is compatible with the standard iPhone U.S. alpha/numeric keyboard. In the future we plan to release international versions of the keyboard layouts.
No, Spike leaves openings for the speaker, microphone, and dock connector (charging port) unobstructed.
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