Do you remember the Typo? This was a special case for the Apple iPhone that came with a dedicated physical QWERTY keyboard. It was created by T.V. personality Ryan Seacrest and launched in 2014. On the surface, the Typo seemed like a great idea. However, Seacrest made a huge blunder; because he personally used BlackBerry phones when the Typo was designed, the QWERTY keys on product bore more than a passing resemblance to the physical QWERTY found on BlackBerry handsets, specifically the one on the BlackBerry Q10
After BlackBerry went to court to block the Typo, the Typo 2 was announced. If Seacrest and company made any changes to placate BlackBerry on the updated version, we couldn't find them. Eventually, Typo was forced to pay BlackBerry $860,000 and went out of business.
What brings up this interesting story is a Kickstarter campaign
for a new case that fits the iPhone X
, iPhone XS
, and iPhone 11 Pro
. Called the Physibo, which is a play on the phrase "Physical Keyboard" (Physibro
might have been a better choice), the product is being billed as a Bluetooth keyboard case that claims to be "the only one of its kind currently on the market." The company says that the Physibo "is a keyboard accessory aimed to enable iPhone users to continue to enjoy stronger, more convenient BlackBerry-like typing."
The Physibo claims to reduce typing errors while allowing users to employ "blind touch" to type. Despite its thin and lightweight form factor, the accessory did manage to pass a six-foot drop test; this is important since the Physibo is a case after all.
The Physibo is a Bluetooth keyboard case for certain iPhone models
As great as it sounds, it is going to take a last-minute surge to get the funding required to produce the case. With eight days left in the Kickstarter campaign (it expires on December 21, 2019, at 3:33 PM EST), the Physibo has raised only $1,486 of the $200,000 funding goal. Should a miracle happen (this is the season for it), the product would ship in February with an MSRP of $129.99. If it doesn't get the funding, the Physibo will go the way of the Typo.