The Qii Portable Keyboard: The Key to Smartphone and Tablet Productivity

Article by Paloma Basilio | 655 words

The desire for an innovative portable keyboard has eaten away at techies since PDA’s were made popular in the 1990’s. Starting with mechanical fold up keyboards and progressing to a laser projection keyboard, each portable keyboard had it’s own set of flaws: Quality, usability, function, etc.

According to David Brown, the creator of Qii, “Qii is the world’s first full-sized smartphone keyboard that you can carry in your pocket.” Pronounced like “key,” Qii is the first roll-able, water- and dirt-proof touch keypad accessory for cellular devices and tablets. Basically, it’s a computer keyboard for your phone that fits in your pocket.

Qii portable keyboard

Credit: Indiegogo.com

Qii’s Portable Keyboard Technology

The keyboard rolls into its case, which allows for easy storage and carrying. It can actually fit into your pants pocket when rolled up. The material that makes up the keyboard is flexible and has sensors that allow for practically any surface to be transformed into a typing surface. The surface can be hard, soft or curved: the Qii will still work. “We use a new kind of flexible transparent electronic film together with a new kind of touch sensing technology that can sense both position and force to create a compact, portable and programmable touch surface.” The case is also a touchpad, much like one you would find on a laptop.

Qii’s Portable Keyboard Features

The Qii features a complete keyboard with number pad and function keys, all of which can be wirelessly connected to your smartphone or tablet to turn it into a mini-computer. “Because it’s ultra-thin and flexible, Qii is both full-sized and pocket-sized, so you’ll be able to effortlessly type and surf anywhere you go.” In order to connect the Qii to a smartphone or tablet, you have to download the Qii app, which will then transmit software wirelessly. “Qii will work with Apple, Android, Blackberry, Windows and Palm phones and tablets according to each platform’s available QWERTY keyboard and pointer standards.”

According to Indiegogo.com, “Qii has an anti-fingerprint coating to keep it clean and a textured surface for easy touch typing. It’s dirt and water resistant, so you don’t have to worry about spilling, and it’s easily washable with soap and water. And, since Qii’s roll-able electronics are printed, it’s tough.” Some of you will appreciate that the Qii is not flashy, yet still very stylish. The keyboard itself is clear with just the keys being outlined in white. At the moment, the cases are offered in two colors: white and black, but donations could also supply more color options.

Qii Indiegogo Crowdfunding Goal

Brown has a vision for Qii beyond its use as a keyboard. His plan is to have donors fill out a survey about how they would use Qii. Brown states, “Qii can become a musical instrument, an armchair mouse, a drawing pad, a control panel, a gaming controller or a body energy field guide. The uses are limited only by imagination. For instance, musicians could use Qii as a xylophone, drum kit, or musical keyboards. Artist can use it as a drawing or painting pad. If you’re a gamer, you could bring Qii onto your laptop display to turn it into a touch screen or separately as a unique gaming console.”

David Brown is seeking to raise $890,000 by April 3, 2015. It has been set to the “fixed funding” standard, meaning that it will receive money only if that goal is met. Contributions will go toward tweaking the technology to make it the best it can be. For instance, funding will help Brown slim down the electronics. He has provided a complete list of things your donations will go toward, including customization, manufacturing, packaging and improving the software.

Donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated. Donations made of $79 will receive the Early Bird Basic QWERTY Qii Change, which includes One Black Early Bird “Basic” QWERTY Qii (no pointer function on casing). “For White, add $10. For shipping inside the USA, add $10. For shipping to Canada or Mexico, add $15. For shipping elsewhere, add $20.” This pledge qualifies you to submit two lines to the Qii “Great Literature Project,” a story written by all the donors line-by-line. If funded, the product should ship sometime in October of 2015.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please visit Qii’s portable keyboard project.

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