TouchFire, a transparent screen-top keyboard for iPad, eases the tablet typing experience with physical keys to help you type as accurately as you can on a traditional keyboard.
TouchFire sits on top of the iPad's keyboard and is compatible on both the original iPad and iPad2, weighing less than one ounce. The project, which just launched on Kickstarter on Oct. 20, already has 76 backers who have pledged more than half -- $6,174 -- of its $10K funding goal.
Backers who pledge $45 or more get the TouchFire standard pack, which includes a keyboard, storage case and a pair of cover clips.
TouchFire co-founder Steve Isaac was one of the first employees at GO Corp, the company behind one of the world's first tablet computers and mobile operating system PenPoint. After working at GO, he went to Microsoft to focus on 1.0 products such as Windows CE, Internet Explorer and MSN.
"But over the years I always felt that I had unfinished business with the tablet space; I think a lot of the early developers from GO were a bit haunted by that experience," Steve tells LAUNCH via email. "When the iPad first came out, I was totally blown away by how spectacular it was in every way. Well, almost every way. Typing on the iPad was leaps and bounds better than anything that had come before, but it still wasn’t great."
Steve says that he wanted to be able to use his iPad for everything, which meant that typing needed to be much easier.
"So I started thinking about a way to add the missing tactile features needed to have a truly extraordinary typing experience on the iPad," Steve says. "I started prototyping it myself (which was sort of a joke since I’m basically a software guy), but I managed to get a prototype together that proved out the concept."
Eventually, Steve pulled co-founder Brad Melmon, a product designer and mechanical engineer, on board.
"We needed to provide the right sort of force resistance for typing to feel really good, and at the same time make the device be thin, lightweight and flexible enough to basically disappear in the cover when not in use," Steve says. "Brad finally had an amazing conceptual breakthrough that allowed us to meet all of these requirements."
Steve and Brad founded Seattle-based TouchFire in December 2010.
Other iPad keyboards include Apple's keyboard dock and Logitech's keyboard case by Zagg.
TouchFire in action.
TouchFire is completely transparent and sits on top of the iPad keyboard.
TouchFire comes with cover clips to help secure the keyboard magnetically to the iPad smart cover.
CONTACTS & LINKS
Steve Isaac, co-founder
Brad Melmon, co-founder