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Physical Keyboards for Smartphones Challenges BlackBerry at CES

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BlackBerry has always pointed to the physical QWERTY keyboard as its main strength, but at CES 2014 in Las Vegas two companies came with two products that could threaten that one advantage. The first is a physical keyboard accessory from Typo that slips over your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S enabling you type conveniently with the physical QWERTY keyboard.

typo keyboard accessory

The second product (or technology) is from a company called Tactus and is more futuristic. It is a technology that literally grows buttons (in form of bubbles) on a touchscreen providing tactile feedback just like physical buttons. The bubbles appear only when required like when you want to type a text or email. The buttons disappear leaving a flat surface when not in use.

tactus phone side shorter

Tactus plans to license this technology to device makers. However, no company has licensed it yet, but don’t be surprised if you see this on a smartphone or tablet this year.

Typo’s accessory is not that far fetched. Its just like any smartphone protective case but includes a physical QWERTY keyboard that seats on the lower end of the touchscreen. It is also a more pressing threat to BlackBerry and looks a lot like the keyboard on the BlackBerry Q10.

The accessory is only available for iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, but imagine what could happen if such an accessory becomes commonly available for Android phones.

This is probably why BlackBerry has already filed a suit against Typo accusing it of copying its design. Typo has of course denied and has even gone ahead selling the device on Amazon online store in the United States for $99. It is now left for the courts to decide.

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Paschal Okafor
Paschal Okafor
Paschal Okafor is the founder of NaijaTechGuide. A Graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Paschal is passionate about Technology and since 2006 has written over 4000 articles covering Mobile Devices, Consumer Electronics, Digital Marketing, Mobile Apps, and Online Services. Over the past 16 years, he has managed to turn a blog that started life on a Google Blogger subdomain into the Largest Technology Blog in Nigeria and quite possibly the largest in Africa. Paschal has been Building, Analyzing, and Maintaining Websites for over 17 years and also shares his wealth of knowledge and experience about building and managing websites on NaijaTechGuide.

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