BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) fans have a new reason to be happy. The touchscreen devices have a virtual keyboard, but the old BlackBerry users are used to QWERTY keypad. However, now they will be able to enjoy the feeling of a real keypad on a virtual one with the help of a new technology developed by start-up Tactus, says a report from Sara Ashley O’Brien by CNN.

BlackBerry served as an inspiration

The technology is mainly for the users who love their iPhone, but also miss their BlackBerry buttons. However, iPhone users will have to wait for some time as the first product Phorm, works only the iPad mini.

Phorm, the product from the tech company, is a case, a keyboard and a screen protector all at the same time. The accessory comes with an invisible keyboard element. The case comes with a panel on the backside, which slides and then the finger guides get activated. The buttons rise within one second and they rescind after that in a slightly longer time duration.

The user gets a feel of the buttons protruding with the help of the new technology that morphs the touch screen. “The original motivation [was] bringing a BlackBerry-like product experience to the touchscreen,” said Craig Ciesla, CEO and co-founder of Tactus Technology. “The iPhone was out, but I was still using a Blackberry.”

The 30-day pre-sale price of the technology is $99, and it was demoed at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. The expected retail price of the technology is $149, and it is also expected that by this summer the product will be ready.

Similar technology for iPhone soon

The start-up-based in Silicon Valley has been working for the past six years on the development of its patented micro-fluidic technology. The company has plans of rolling out such a product for the iPhone as well, but it will take quite some time. The company plans to develop the technology for the iPhone in next six month.

Tactus has developed the working in collaboration with the lead keyboard designers for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) as well as former Nokia and Amazon Lab126 employees. Work productivity can be increased largely if typing on the touch-screen becomes easier and faster.

Both the tech companies and carriers will be able to benefit from this technology. The former will benefit from the enhanced usability, and the latter will benefit from the increased data usage.

25 COMMENTS

  1. 1. I don’t have a Passport
    2. My Q10 has absolutely no issues on 10.3.1
    3. BBRY already released a patch update to fix the flickering
    4. Screen flickering was minor compared to all of the issues iOS users had updating to iOS 8.

    Your logic on physical keyboards is flawed… but whatever. Bottom line is that people still prefer using a physical keyboard for tablets, etc and some still prefer it for their phone.

  2. A Tablet has the width to support a full keyboard you moron and it doesn’t take away real estate from the viewing screen since it’s an attachment and on top of that most tablet keyboards serve a dual purpose, both as a keyboard and a screen protector.

    A full keyboard will always be better then a virtual keyboard for now, but if the device is too small for one then it doesn’t make sense. If I can’t lay all 10 fingers on the keyboard comfortably then it doesn’t make sense to put a full keyboard on a small device where you’ll just be pecking at the keys with your thumbs.

    By the way how’s that Screen flickering after the 10.3 update??

  3. Maybe you should type what you mean then clown. And I did say “market cap” in my response… so I did know. And I wasn’t talking about market CAP in my comment.. I was talking about market SHARE… which is what YOU said in your original comment.

  4. Buh buh but if all you’re doing as pecking at it with both thumbs, why the need for a physical keyboard for a tablet?

    Ps. ROTFLMAO… that the best you got? Oooh.. screen flickering. Apple NEVER has any issues with OS updates… neither does Android. SMFH

  5. I meant market cap you dumb ass, and I don’t see how Google could be eating Apple’s lunch when Apple has a market CAP larger then Google and Microsoft put together. Do you want to go after market share with your low end crappy android phones or bring value to your shareholders?

    By the way how’s that Passport update to 10.3 looking, is the screen flickering yet HA HA HA HA HA HA…..

  6. Hey dumb ass, Surface has a form factor that can easily support a full qwerty keyboard unlike a tiny mobile phone. There is no need for a full keyboard if all you’ll be doing is pecking at it with both your thumbs.

    By the way how’s that Passport update to 10.3 looking, is the screen flickering yet HA HA HA HA HA HA…..

  7. Yeah… because portable devices like tablets (ie Surface) don’t use keyboards or anything. Certainly not.. we all have to drive the same model, style and color car… nobody can deviate from this..

  8. A market share of 700 billion? That is their market cap you buffoon.. it has nothing to do with their market share (of which Android is STILL eating Apple’s lunch).

  9. ROTFLMAO… look at this pathetic dbag spreading his anti-BBRY propaganda. Get a life loser.

  10. I’m a liar? You need to get a life buddy. I didn’t lie, the track pad feature of the keyboard works very well. Of course Android apps were not designed to work with a BlackBerry only feature. It does however work excellent on the web and most apps designed specifically designed to work on a BlackBerry. Those that don’t will be updated in short order to work with the track pad. I also highly doubt you spent any time with a Passport. You hate everything about BlackBerry.

  11. Now I know you are a liar as well, that trackpad doesn’t work correctly in most Android apps, I know that for a fact because I had a Passport, that is before I returned it to Amazon.

  12. The trackpad works very well actually, I just used it to scroll to here. Apple hasn’t won the game either. They are definitely winning right now but BlackBerry used to be the leaders. Things change. Apple is a giant of a company, no denying that. That does nothing to take away from BlackBerry’s innovations that please the people who buy them. I’m not sure why it bothers you so bad that some people still prefer BlackBerry’s over iPhones.

  13. Yeah, i’ve seen how awesome that trackpad is, try using it in the Amazon app store and it’l make your head spin. Sorry my friend Apple has already won this game, at a market share of $700 Billion Blackberry is nothing but a small fly at this point….

  14. Well your in luck, the Passports keyboard is also a trackpad! Cool huh? Why is a virtual keyboard a better tool than a physical keyboard on a smartphone and not a computer anyway? As for your army, the leaders all use Blackberry.

  15. Why don’t we add a mouse to your phone as well while were at it? Of course a keyboard is what I would use if I were using a full computer, it’s pretty obvious that we have moved away from keyboards on a phone to touch screens as it just makes more sense. You bring the right tool for the job, if you want to bring a keyboard be my guest but the winning army will have a full touch screen on their mobile phones…

  16. Why don’t they make glass keyboards for computers? Because it’s much more comfortable to type on tactile keys is why. Why would it be any different on a phone? This message was typed on a BlackBerry Passport physicle keyboard

  17. I just switched back to a physical keyboard with the BlackBerry Passport and I love it. I have had it for about 10 hours now and I am already just about back up to speed, not to mention with BlackBerry Blend I can do much of my BlackBerry messaging such as texting, BBM and all my email accounts right from my desktop. What a great phone.

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