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Feeling bookish with handheld TrewGrip keyboard

This keyboard that attaches to mobile devices is shaped like a book and has keys on the back.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
2 min read
TrewGrip keyboard

Remember books? Neither do I. Apparently they were analog text on dry cellulose pulp. You held them in both hands and it was all very quaint.

Some of us still have residual muscle memory for holding books. What if you could hold another lingering technology of yesteryear -- the keyboard -- like a book?

The curved TrewGrip is a "rear-type" keyboard that can dock with an iPhone or other mobile device for text input on the go.

It has keys laid out in a vaguely QWERTY arrangement, but split and rotated. There's a key layout on the front side that lights up when you push a key so your fingers don't get too lost.

On the front, it also has keys for the mouse, space, back, page down, and all arrow keys.

It's got a Bluetooth connection and suction cups to attach mobile devices, like smartphones or tablets, that are up to 7 inches. That way you can text with both hands while driving and steer with your knees. OK, you probably shouldn't drive with your knees. Or text while driving.

"We started this project to research and develop a two-handed text entry device for mobile workers because the available mobile hardware was just inadequate for typing," according to its Kickstarter campaign page.

"Hunting and pecking with one finger and thumb typing were barely adequate for entering just a few sentences."

The developers say the learning curve is the same as with a split, ergonomic keyboard, and that users can achieve 90 percent of their regular typing speeds after 10 hours of use.

The TrewGrip is 12 inches wide, weighs 1 pound and 5 ounces, has a wireless range of 30 feet, and has 10 hours of battery life.

Would you use this thing? Check out details here and the video below from a speed-typing contest in which Robert Price typed 115 words per minute on TrewGrip.