While the vintage USB Typewriter computer keyboards we covered yesterday are still pretty darn cool in our eyes, we've since turned our attention to another typing project that's pushing the standards of office products much father forward: The Wingz Smartkeyboard, a new Kickstarter project started by an ex-Microsoft employee, wants to replace your current PC or tablet keyboard with one that has a small touchscreen in the middle.
By including a small touchscreen in the middle of a split, ergonomically designed keyboard, the Wingz Smartkeyboard aims to increase productivity by allowing computer users to multitask better by adding one more screen to the mix. The Wingz Smartkeyboard runs a modified version of the Android operating system and can perform a variety of functions including tweeting, Internet browsing and working as a tiny monitor.
For instance, if someone has the Wingz Smartkeyboard connected to their personal computer -- whether it be a tablet or desktop -- they can simultaneously run any Android application on the keyboard such as Twitter, Facebook or text messaging. Other instances that this hybrid keyboard could come in handy is during those on-the-go moments, when you don't need your entire tablet to be used as a monitor, such as during a meeting, when you'd like to take notes without having to stare at an over-sized monitor. The touchscreen in the Smartkeyboard can be used an a miniature monitor, and can store data (such as a word document) that can later be sent to another device wirelessly.
The Wingz Smartkeyboard connects via Bluetooth or USB port on any HID-enabled device. That means most popular tablets, including the Apple iPad will be able to use the device and so will most popular desktop computers and laptops. The keyboard can also connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi, which gives it most of its high-end capabilities.
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The Kickstarter page for the project also suggest that the keyboard will be able to connect to you cell phone network (as in, it's unlocked) as long as you put the SIM card in the device. To boot, the keyboard includes two cameras, a USB port, memory card slot, headphone jack, speakers, on/off switch, IR port and a/c power charger, though we're not even sure why sure why some of that is necessary (such as the cameras).
David Prokop, the man behind the machine, worked for 13 years at Microsoft in the Research and Development team according to the Kickstarter video. During his time at Microsoft, he helped teams work on several keyboards ergonomic keyboards. His belief is that by combining a split, ergonomic keyboard with the power of a touchscreen device, computer users will be more productive while multi-tasking on their devices. For the full scoop, check out Prokop's Kickstarter video below.