Mobile Technology

Back-type adds a physical keyboard to a tablet’s backside

Back-type adds a physical keyb...
Impress your friends by back-typing
Impress your friends by back-typing
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Back-typing uses an external physical keyboard attached to the rear of a tablet
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Back-typing uses an external physical keyboard attached to the rear of a tablet
The virtual back-typing keyboard
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The virtual back-typing keyboard
Impress your friends by back-typing
3/3
Impress your friends by back-typing
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Looking to make typing on tablet computers easier (and add another term to the mobile computing lexicon), French company AlphaUI is developing a “back-typing” concept that adds an external physical keyboard to the back of a tablet. The prototype device from AlphaUI is designed to attach to the back of smaller tablets with 5-7-inch displays and provides 24 standard-sized physical keys that are ergonomically placed within easy reach of the user’s fingers as they hold the tablet.

Since each letter key actually represents two letters, the device doesn’t do away with the onscreen keyboard. However, because the onscreen virtual keyboard only serves as a guide to direct the user’s fingers to the appropriate key, it can presumably be a bit smaller than an onscreen keyboard that is actually used for typing. Also, because the keys aren’t labeled, there’s also the possibility the keys could be mapped to a user’s own configuration.

The virtual back-typing keyboard
The virtual back-typing keyboard

The form factor of the prototype actually looks like it would be pretty comfortable to hold too, being not dissimilar to a slightly oversized and more rounded PSP. And since the device allows eight fingers to be used instead of over-relying on the thumbs, it should cut down on typing fatigue.

It certainly looks promising for those who prefer physical keyboards to tapping away on a touchscreen for extended periods, but it might take a bit longer than the week the company says it should take users to be pumping out around 250 characters a minute.

Although the device is still only a prototype, AlphaUI recently asked for volunteers to beta test the external keyboard so it looks like it could be at the fine-tuning stage and we might see an actual product hitting the market in the not too distant future.

Via CrunchGear

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5 comments
Kris Lee
This does look quite convenient.
akshaysulakhe
It wud take time to get used too...
Facebook User
Seems too stressing for fingers to tipe and hold it at same time. Besides you can\'t have it laied on a table or legs while pressing rears.
Will, the tink
hooo nowz, et mite halp me yto tipe betr!
Facebook User
Yeah i can see a future for it. It might actually be better than a normal kwyboard and surely better than an on-screen one, once you get used to it.