Cell Phone Accessories
BestBoy straddles your phone’s back for blind text input

The Premise. Mobile devices open up the possibility to communicate and collaborate from any location, any time. However, the need to move the keyboard to a touch screen has also reshaped communication down from the blog post and the email to the tweet. What can be done when a full-length message needs to be sent on the go?

The Product. BestBoy is a chorded keyboard that attaches to the back of mobile devices and offers six buttons that users can press to type any characters they should need in communicating. The device operates on Bluetooth Smart technology and offers Braille support, buttons for gaming, and a web-based app is even available for users to get used to how they can type with the keyboard. With practice, using the BestBoy will offer desktop keyboard-style typing speeds and reduce the risk of Repetitive Strain Injury.

The Pitch. The primary video for the BestBoy campaign is literally all talk, with no sign of the product itself. A video is then shown from an older prototype from 2011, with a bit more of a comedic angle. It shows off how the product would look in action and also gives viewers an idea of how long this keyboard has been in development. The explanation of the campaign goes into what steps that journey required, and how the development of Bluetooth Smart has given it new life. BestBoy wants to raise $50,000 to pay for the prototype and production phases.

The Perks. BestBoy is offering its unique brand of control for those that pledge $23 to their campaign. Larger quantities are available from two to 40 keyboards ranging in price from $53 to $699.

The Potential. Will we see the BestBoy at Best Buy? Probably not any time soon. As the developers admit. the chorded keyboard is nothing new, with the Infogrip BAT serving a niche for years now. The solution isn’t extremely advanced or innovative like Grippity, but the company is wise to point out less obvious applications of this device. The idea of having a functional, fast keyboard for mobile devices is one thing, but if it takes learning, one might as well learn Braille while they’re at it. Having real physical buttons to press during mobile gaming is attractive as well, but in a lot of ways, it seems the market has spoken when it comes to keyboard redesigns, especially when two-in-one mobile devices offer such sleek, portable full-size keyboard options.

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