About this project
Please go to www.touchfire.com to order the new Touchfire products
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What is Touchfire?
Touchfire is the world's thinnest, lightest iPad keyboard. It adds transparent, 3D keys on top of your's iPad's 2D keyboard.
With Touchfire, you can feel the keys, rest your fingers on the home row without accidentally triggering the touch screen and even type without looking. Typing on your iPad is now fast, accurate and comfortable.
Touchfire attaches to your iPad magnetically, so it always goes into the right place. It can be quickly retracted when you want to use the full screen.
It attaches magnetically to the inside your iPad's cover and rolls with the cover when not in use - always with you, but never in the way!
Touchfire started out as a Kickstarter project at the end of 2011. It ultimately became the most funded tablet-related Kickstarter project of the time. A warm thanks to our original Kickstarter backers who made the first Touchfire possible!
The current version of the Touchfire keyboard is compatible with iPad 1,2,3 & 4, and is available for purchase at www.touchfire.com. In fact, we are having a celebration sale right now - enter coupon code PARTY2013 on the shopping cart page for a very good deal.
To choose a reward and back our project, click on the pledges on the right side of the page (note that the iPad Air is called the iPad 5 in the pledges on the right).
Touchfire for the iPad mini
Apple's iPad mini is about half the size and weight of a full-size iPad, yet delivers the complete iPad experience. But fast typing on a mini? Impossible!
We love a challenge, and we've been working non-stop for the last 8 months to bring Touchfire to the iPad mini. We learned that no matter what we did, simply scaling down the original Touchfire wasn't going to work; the keys were just too cramped for comfortable typing.
We finally realized that Touchfire's technology allowed us to make the home row keys that you rest your fingers on bigger and further spread out than the keys on the underlying on-screen keyboard. We also found a way to make the other keys on the keyboard smaller than their on-screen equivalents, yet still work effectively.
The result? Touchfire for the iPad mini!
Here you can see how keys like "A" and "L" are larger and spread apart, while keys like the "G", "Y" and "B" are smaller.
Touchfire for the iPad mini has all the great features of the full-size Touchfire. It attaches magnetically, retracts out of the way, and doesn't add any noticeable size or weight, so Touchfire goes effortlessly wherever your iPad mini goes.
And now you can type effectively on your iPad mini, no matter where you go and what you're up to.
Here's a video showing what typing on Touchfire mini is like - we used it to write our second Kickstarter update:
Touchfire for iPad Air (iPad 5)
We are committed to bringing a version of the Touchfire Keyboard and Case to the iPad Air out as soon as possible. We’ve decided to give our Kickstarter backers the opportunity to be first in line for this product. We won’t know exactly what the iPad Air will be until we have one in our hands. But we have developed a prototype Touchfire keyboard for it:
Since the iPad 5 will probably not be shipping before this Kickstarter is over, we are going to give a February ship date, just to be safe.
Touchfire iPad Cases
We are also introducing a line of custom cases for iPad 2,3,4, the iPad mini and the iPad 5. Our cases are protective, look really good and don't add unnecessary bulk. Most importantly, they provide a really good typing experience!
We found a grippy material for the outside that feels really nice and also keeps your iPad from slipping out of your hand or sliding on a table:
This material feels silky if you lightly run your fingers over it. But as soon as a little pressure is put on it, the tiny hexagons that make up the material lock in and grip.
But that's just a start. We've also incorporated new features that aren't available in any other case on the market. First off, we provide great integration with the Touchfire keyboard. All the magnets that the Touchfire keyboard needs to attach to the cover are built right in:
You can also easily roll up Touchfire in the cover:
Or fold the cover in half with Touchfire in the middle:
This lets you swing the half-folded cover behind your iPad and hold the iPad one handed, with the keyboard safe and protected:
This half fold position also gives you a 45 degree viewing angle for doing things like watching videos or playing games:
This is just one of three viewing angles that our case provides, all with the Touchfire keyboard inconspicuously tucked away inside the cover:
Of course, providing a great typing experience is what Touchfire is all about. We've learned that the case is an essential element for good typing. Our cases provide a rock-solid typing platform in three different positions:
Let's talk about how our case protects your iPad. Our back case protects the back and corners of the iPad. The closed cover protects the edges of the mini as well as its screen. Here's the back of the case:
Our four panel cover is permanently attached to the back case:
The open design of our case makes accessing the controls easy and keeps the overall weight down. It easily accommodates the largest of headphone jacks. Our iPad mini case will weigh approximately 4 oz; our iPad 2, 3, 4 case will weigh approximately 7 oz.
Our cases will be offered in Black and Light Grey, as well as other colors if our stretch goals are met. You will choose case color after this project has completed.
Can I Get Touchfire for iPad mini or iPad 5 Without the Case?
That's a fair question - after all, the Touchfire keyboard for iPad 1,2,3,4 is selling right now without a case.
We've looked at a lot of iPad mini cases over the last eight months, and we've seen what's coming with iPad 5 cases. We think our cases will substantially improve the typing and viewing experience, as well as integrate better with Touchfire.
But we want you to be the judge of that. So, we decided to give out our iPad mini case and iPad 5 case to you for free! We want you to be able to try our case and compare it with other cases if you'd like. If you do, let us know why you made your choice, so we can keep on improving our product.
*** FIRST STRETCH GOAL UNLOCKED!! ***
To start with, our cases will come in black and light gray. But we have heard from various backers that they would like other color choices. So, we will unlock another color choice for our cases for each $25K that we raise. In other words, if we raise $25K or more, we will give backers a third color choice besides black and light gray. If we raise more than $50K a fourth color choice, etc. The additional color choices will be voted on by all backers who have pledged $25 or more.
Here are a few of the many possible color choices:
Why We Need Your Help
Touchfire is a 3 person, self-funded company (Brad and Steve have recently been joined by Jerry, who handles our operations and shipping). Getting Touchfire for the mini and our new line of cases into manufacturing requires that we pay tens of thousands of dollars up front, before production even begins. And we have to pay the remainder of the manufacturing cost before we can ship the first product.
A pledge of $45 gets you a Touchfire for the iPad mini and a case in your choice of color. A $25 pledge gets you an iPad 2, 3, 4 case. These are pretty amazing prices. But the only way we can offer this kind of value is if we make a very large initial order with our manufacturer.
That is why we are doing this as a Kickstarter project. We are not able to fund such a large order ourselves; we need your help.
So please back our project, and let your Friends with iPads know about it!
Steve & Brad
Production Timeline and Milestones
9/23: Tooling for the iPad mini keyboard is complete and tested.
9/30: iPad 2-4 and mini case samples arrive. Evaluate and provide feedback to vendor.
10/7: Manufacturing test run of one hundred pre-production iPad mini keyboards complete. Analyze quality and yield.
10/28: Final pre-production case samples arrive. Initiate volume production of cases. Final manufacturing test run of iPad mini keyboards.
11/18: First run of finished cases arrives at assembly house. Mass production of Touchfire mini keyboards begins. iPad 5 Touchfire keyboard and case design released for tool build.
11/25: In full production for Mini Keyboards and cases. They are fully assembled in packaging, and ready to be shipped to you!
12/18: First iPad 5 Case samples arrive.
12/30: iPad 5 keyboard first production test run. iPad 5 case final design released, production begins.
1/13: iPad 5 keyboard pre-production samples arrive.
1/27: iPad 5 keyboard production begins.
2/15: iPad 5 keyboard and case are ready to be shipped to you!
Risks and challenges
The design of Touchfire for iPad mini is complete and ready for production. It has been extensively tested and verified. We are using the same manufacturer that is currently making the full-size Touchfire, and we have been collaborating with them on the design from the beginning. This will ensure that the transition into production is smooth.
The biggest risk we face at this point is unexpected manufacturing issues that will delay going into full production on our time schedule. We will mitigate this risk by staying in constant contact with our factory as they move the new Touchfire products into full production.
We have extensive fulfillment experience from our previous Kickstarter project, and are ready to ship your Touchfire Mini to you as soon as it is available.
Touchfire® is a registered trademark of Touchfire, Inc. Seattle, WA. All rights reserved.
US Patent 8,206,047 is associated with Touchfire Keyboard products. Additional patent applications pending.
iPad® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Cupertino, CA.
Big thanks to JedShare.com for video production.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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