About this project
myType in the Press:
- Mashable - “[myType] has made a lot of noise not even one week into its campaign...putting you ‘one fold away from work.’”
- Dude I Want That - “myType not only folds in half, it folds in half to a size that slides into one's pocket or bag, and in a way that interlocks its aforementioned buttons snugly and safety together.”
- Trend Hunter - “The battery life is impressive, too, lasting up to roughly eight hours of continuous usage.”
- Today’s iPhone - “So not only is it incredibly durable and portable, when it’s opened up, its keys are also much larger and better spaced out than most other iPhone specific keyboards.”
- MacTrast - Kickstarter of the Week
myType™ Bluetooth Keyboard
It seems as though our lives become busier and busier each day. We’re increasingly on the go, yet because of smartphones and tablets we’re also always connected. We are now expected to substantively respond to email and revise documents as if we’re in front of our laptop or desktop even when we aren’t. So how are we supposed fulfill our work and school obligations and write productive emails/papers on a tiny phone while we have five minutes waiting for our kids at practice, ten minutes at the coffee shop before work, an hour to kill on campus, or even a couple of hours on a flight or train ride? While our devices are getting smaller, our hands certainly aren’t.
The myType™ Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard is designed to be the most comfortable and convenient keyboard to take with you on the go while also providing the efficiency of a full-size keyboard when you need it. When folded, it fits comfortably in a pocket. It is lightweight, ultra-slim and compact allowing you to easily take it with you just like you take your smartphone or tablet. When it’s open, it provides a laptop/desktop feel and efficiency. And it is perfect for any normal work environment, school or travel, offering completely wireless Bluetooth technology and a long battery life that connects quickly and easily to smartphones and tablets. With the myType Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, you can increasingly use your smartphone or tablet as a replacement for your laptop.
We hope that the unique design of this keyboard appeals to you and you will help us achieve our longtime goal of getting a product to market. Please check out the video telling our story and the information about the myType™ keyboard on this page.
Features & Specifications:
- Keys are designed and spaced for touch typing, unlike most portable keyboards the myType keyboard is functionally similar to most desktop and laptop keyboards
- Pocket-sized when closed
- Light, thin & flexible design comfortably disappears into your pocket or purse
- Battery life: weeks of normal use
- Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
- Micro USB Charging
- Completely wireless with Bluetooth 3.0 technology
- Max Wireless Range: 33 Feet
- Durable: can be dropped with a low chance of being damaged
- Splash Resistant
- Nearly silent to type on; perfect for meetings
- Available in five colors: Kickstarter green, black, white, blue and pink
- Works with Bluetooth® HID. Either by our own tests, or the respective manufacturer’s web site, HID is supported by the following devices (with the latest iOS available version for Apple products); iPhone 3GS and later, iPad incl. iPad Mini, iPod Touch 2nd and later, Android (with HID support; tested with several Samsung phones and tablets) and Windows 8 Tablets.
- Dimensions When Open: 12.5” x 3.6” x .3”
- Dimensions When Closed: 6.8” x 3.6” x .35"
- Weight: Approximately 122 grams/4.3 oz (just the keyboard, not including packaging or charging cable)
Why we need your help...
We have worked very hard perfecting the design and features of the myType Keyboard, and have successfully created a keyboard that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but one that functions properly!
What we need from you is support in raising the necessary funds for production runs of the myType™ Keyboard in mass quantities. We’ve been working with our manufacturer for a while now and we’re all set to go – we just need the funds to make it happen!
How you can help...
First off, you can help by backing our project and you even get a myType™ keyboard in return for your support!
You can also help us spread the word about our crowdfunding campaign by Liking us on Facebook, Following us on Twitter and telling all of your friends about this awesome, new keyboard for those on the go.
Click here to send out a pre-populated tweet about our project!
Video overview of myType™ features:
The myType™ Keyboard comes in 5 exciting Colors:
A Brief History of the myType™ Keyboard
After contemplating the possibility of making a small device on which a user could touch type, Brunn came up with the notion of a collapsible keyboard in 1989 and began tinkering with keyboard designs.
There were several hurdles:
1. We needed suitable and widely adopted devices to pair with the keyboard
2. There was no easy way to connect the keyboard (writing and maintaining separate drivers for all the different devices was very painful and expensive)
3. Mobile internet didn't exist, substantially limiting the usefulness for such devices
Hewlett and Packard famously started in a garage, as did the two Steves of Apple fame. We didn’t have a garage – only a carport. We bought a small, numerically-controlled milling machine and started trying to make working prototypes. We used wood, metal and cannibalized commercial keyboards for parts. We could only use the “function” keys, as they were the only ones thin enough, so we needed a lot of keyboards. Brunn's oldest son would acquire and send us broken keyboards from his college IT department.
In 2001 we found and contacted George, a local Phoenix keyboard specialist, and arranged for the creation of a prototype. However, we could not overcome the obstacles mentioned above, and there the matter sat for nearly a decade until late spring of 2010. At that time we reconnected with George, essentially on a social call, and considered that the conditions had changed: smartphones (with their clumsy thumb boards) had become powerful computers and were widely adopted; Bluetooth had become a standard protocol for connecting to wireless keyboards; and mobile internet was quickly becoming fast, affordable, and ubiquitous.
We began development on what was to become the myType Keyboard in the summer of 2010. By December of 2011, after about 10 iterations including a complete redesign, we had ordered and had received 50 units in five colors from our initial 1,000 unit proof of concept beta (1,000 being fewer in quantity than what the factory was willing to provide in production runs). They worked well, and we were thrilled, so we gave the green light to produce the remaining 950 keyboards. We received the 950 in January of 2012. The keyboards worked but did not meet our expectations. This was devastating. We spent the next approximately 9 months working closely with the factory to address these issues and make further improvements.
At this stage the factory agreed to provide us with another proof of concept beta run of 1,000 keyboards in our five colors. We tested the keyboards. They worked beautifully. However, given the history, we wanted more data points before launching our campaign. As part of our testing program, we marketed and sold a limited number on Sky Mall (132 units). The fact that the keyboard was well received and that we received very limited returns (1 before the start of our campaign and 1 subsequently) gave us the comfort and third party validation that we wanted before launching on Kickstarter. The myType Keyboard is not currently available on Skymall. It is still listed on the website, but is on back order until January of 2014 and will remain on backorder until all of our Kickstarter rewards have been fulfilled.
We are a small organization and have put in a tremendous amount of effort and resources to get myType to a stage where we are confident that we will be able to deliver a quality product on schedule to our backers. We are especially thankful to both Kickstarter and our many backers for helping us get over the hump and by raising the necessary funds to get the myType into production and bring it to the world.
Risks and challenges
We have followed many projects on Kickstarter, and have seen many of them struggle to deliver on time - or at all. We know, first hand, how frustrating this is for the backers, so we made a strategic decision to launch only after we had worked through the challenges most likely to cause delays.
For us, this meant securing and building relationships with suppliers, finalizing the product design, securing proof of concept beta run in each color giving us confidence that this process is repeatable.
That said, there are still risk factors that could impact our ability to complete our project, but we have identified alternate manufacturing channels, and are confident that we will be able to deliver our rewards on time.
If the project substantially exceeds expectations (what Ben's mom would call "a nice problem to have"), it could introduce some delays in fulfillment and potentially manufacturing. We have identified fulfillment partners, and are confident that we can get rewards shipped out in a timely fashion. The factory has assured us that they are equipped to handle large order sizes into the 10,000+ range quickly and efficiently.
Claims and Disclaimer: Roysden Innovations, LLC, dba myType Keyboard and myType Mobile, claim a trademark for purposes of electronic devices on the name “myType” and the phrase “office in your pocket", and claim a copyright © on this material, 2013, all rights reserved. Some of the names described herein are trademarks owned or otherwise claimed by their respective owners, e.g. Bluetooth, Android, Apple, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Windows.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
When we “showed” the keyboard at CES, one of the most encouraging comments was how good the keyboard “felt”. We wouldn’t have gone through those 15 iterations and taken the 3 years if we weren’t trying to get a keyboard that we felt comfortable typing on.
We spent 3 years and went through 15 “iterations” of models from the factory before we went to market with this. Some of that was to assure reasonable durability. Can you break it if you try? Sure. Will it stand up to normal wear and tear? Absolutely. If we were going to slop something together, we would have gone to market 2 ½ years and 14 “iterations” ago. That is not our style.
If you look closely at the photos of the keyboard, you will notice two “extra” keys – an extra left shift key and an unmarked key on the bottom row (above the left arrow.) That was to allow for non-American versions without having to retool the production molds. It will take different electronic programming, and it will take some time, but we hope to have sufficient market demand that, some time in the future, we can offer other versions.
That is probably our next model. Stay tuned.
We had five keyboards at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) that were in constant use for 4 long days. They were still working without any recharging at the end of CES. (In contrast, our Tablets could not last even one day.) We have tested the keyboard “in the field”, and it lasts for weeks of “normal” use. We think you will be happy with the battery life.
We are happy with our current model – the reception (of the receiving smart phone or tablet) and the battery life. At some point, we may move to Bluetooth 4.0, but we don’t see the need at present.
We have some exciting ideas on this front but would love to hear what our backers want. Please leave a comment or send us a message, and tell us what would get you excited.
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