The Jolla is a small open-source smartphone that uses the Sailfish OS, capable of running Android apps from a variety of app stores. Jolla’s modularity, both hardware and software-wise, is its biggest selling point, similar to how Google’s Project Ara is tackling the idea of smartphones that evolve over time. The Other Half is Jolla’s proprietary platform that allows for this modularity, and will eventually work to add and customize its hardware functionality. For now, though, it exists to give users the choice of backplate colors. With the most ambitious Other Half so far being an Angry Birds-themed one that offers a paint job and some custom sounds, the fervent user base has clamoring for more utility. That’s where the the Other Half Keyboard comes into play.
The Other Half Keyboard, or TOHKB for short, is a durable Other Half attachment for the Jolla that allows you to attach a fully customizable, LED-backlit keyboard. Users have the choice to leave the keyboard on or attach it at their own convenience. Either way, the keyboard can slide out in either direction, so users won’t have to worry about the phone’s orientation during use. The keyboard is spacious and tactile, and claims to offer a superior typing experience without the crowdedness of other keyboards, and users have the option of ordering a blank versions of the keyboard to engrave with a laser printer. TOHKB gives a lot of limelight to hotkey support as well, offering fully customizable hotkeys to improve interaction speed with the smartphone.
As promising as TOHKB looks, battery life is a smartphone user’s ultimate concern, and an Other Half for battery life might have more legs than a keyboard that isn’t strictly necessary. In any case, the campaign is looking for €55,000 (~$68,100) and at this point, each keyboard is going for €130 (~$160). Backers can expect theirs in April of 2015.