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SmartKeyboard: Physical Keyboard for iPhone Similar to iPad’s Smart Cover [Video]

When it comes to the subject of inputting text into today's smartphone, there is no doubt that virtual keyboards are the way to go. Especially nowadays that touchscreen technology continues to become increasingly intuitive. And with the popularity of smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and various Android based devices, a purely touchscreen smartphone interface is a trend that's not going away anytime soon. But of course, there are still many users who haven't quite adapted to touchscreen based text input and would rather have a physical keyboard which can provide a tactile feedback.

SmartKeyboard for iPhone
When it comes to virtual keyboards, it is safe to say that the iPhone offers one that is considered to be one the best in the industry. The iPhone's multi-touch virtual keyboard is quite intuitive and easy to use which makes for some hassle-free text inputs. But since it is a purely virtual keyboard, many people who prefers to have tactile feedback while punching in their texts would find the iPhone lacking in that department. Well if you are someone who belongs to the crowd who prefers physical keyboard over virtual ones, then this newly announced project should definitely please you.
SmartKeyboard for iPhone
This new project is called SmartKeyboard, a concept design by JIMY. Basically SmartKeyboard is a physical keyboard that magnetically attaches into your iPhone that instantly provides the advantages of an aftermarket physical keyboard. The concept of SmartKeyboard is very similar to the iPad 2's Smart Cover in a sense that it also attaches itself to the iPhone magnetically. Similar to the iPad 2 accessory, SmartKeyboard can also be folded backwards to be used as a stand or a shooting handle. The SmartKeyboard is slim, looks great, LED backlit and seems to go well with the iPhone's aesthetics. Check out this beautiful concept video of SmartKeyboard:

While the idea of a physical keyboard for the iPhone is indeed neat, there are some serious problems that we can cite with SmartKeyboard. First is that it completely covers the Home button which could lead to some navigation difficulties. But a quick workaround would be to rotate the device 180 degrees so the Home button is situated at the top. But another limitation that seriously hampers the usability of SmartKeyboard is the fact that it does not support numbers. If the virtual keyboard is completely covered by SmartKeyboard, how exactly do you type in the numbers or symbols for that matter? A smart workaround I guess would be to make the keyboard completely transparent instead.

Again this is just a concept for a physical keyboard for the iPhone and it is highly likely that it is still pretty much a work in progress. But this particular solution for a physical keyboard is indeed a very neat idea. Here's hoping that the creators can come up with ways in order to overcome the potentially serious problems of SmartKeyboard. We'll let you know if this concept design actually turns into an actual product.

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