As always, weird innovations is awarded with coverage – if not to applaud the complication convolutions that the minds of some people can perform with apparent ease, then to marvel at the products that are born out of these incredible ideas.
Today we are looking at typing aids. When we say ‘typing aids’ however, we are definitely not talking about Dictaphones, voice recognition software applications or even secretaries – we mean aids to avoid discomfort when using the phone to type out emails and messages.
Before we plunge headfirst into a riotous list of the aforementioned aids, we would like to draw attention to the fact that there is a possibility that if someone actually needs one of these devices, they are potentially using the device a tad more that was originally intended.
First on our list is the iTwinge. While the product sounds slightly painful, the twinge is probably induced when the product first comes to light. The iTwinge is a product by Mobile Mechatronics, designed to aid with typing on the iPhone. As everyone well knows, there is no official solution to an external hardware QWERTY keyboard, so the iTwinge was invented instead. The product looks like a pouch that only reaches halfway up the phone. It has a rubberized finish, with QWERTY keys superimposing the touchscreen. It draws its power from the phone itself, and provides the user a tactile alternative to the onscreen keyboard. There is also a cutout in the rubber to allow access to the home button. Thank goodness they thought of that – otherwise the half-covered phone might have proven difficult to use!
After getting the sarcasm out of our system, the next hideous modification is also for the hapless iPhone. This time it is an iPhone knockoff, but the keyboard is real enough. It comes with a sort of snap-on case that accepts the phone, and the keyboard is on the second flap.
In continuation of touchscreen troubles, there is a simple screen overlay that has just arrived on the scene. 4iThumbs is a sheet of plastic, with small rubber protrusions, that snaps on to the iPhone screen. It is held in place by two place holders on the top and bottom of the device. The overlay can be removed easily and stored on the back panel of the device till the user needs it again. 4iThumbs comes in two versions: one for the portrait QWERTY and one for the landscape keyboard. The instructions are simple, and the installation is easy if done correctly. Ingenious, we think.
The last product that ends this list is the Awethumb. This garish product is a thumb protector for those people whose digits become raw after a heavy duty typing session. The little rubber sleeve fits snugly on the thumb, making typing a cinch. Our only caveat is that saying the same out loud, makes us look insensitive and mocking to the speech-challenged.
While the notion may be tempting to consider, these are all actual products that are available for enthusiastic mobile phone typists.