Comments on: Cloth Keyboard Coming Next Year

A British company named ElectroTextiles had demonstrated the world’s first fabric keyboard at IT Expo in Cannes, France. It can be folded, scrunched, and washed, without losing functionality. It also wraps around a palmtop to form a protective case, and includes an integral stand for easier screen viewing. It should be available early next year at between $50 and $70.
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Cool: Yes! Practical: Maybe

Ed @ 11/9/2000 3:07:29 PM #
I'm really torn about this cloth keyboard. I love the idea of a keyboard that can be balled up and stuffed into a suitcase but I'm wondering how easy to use it is going to be. I'm not sure how I'll like typing on a piece of cloth without the keys moving. How hard do you have to hit a key to get it to register? And clearly, holding the Palm in my lap and typing like I do with my GoType isn't possible. But the folding keyboard has this same limitation and that doesn't seem to bother most people. Anyway, I'll take a wait and see attitude.

Palm Infocenter
RE: Cool: Yes! Practical: Maybe
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/10/2000 3:38:21 PM #
The cloth keyboard appears to fold about as small at the stowaway, because of the stiff plastic part that interfaces with the palm. I've typed on these rubberized keyboards before. You have to really jab at the keys to get a response - graffitti is faster.
I'm really pleased with the typematic rate of my stowaway, which is one of the reasons I preferred it over the gotype. The fabric keyboard is a neat concept, but it doesn't really add any new functionality (not much smaller than a stowaway) and it doesn't look like it will outperform previous offerings.

Multi purpose keyboard

WireLes @ 11/9/2000 3:15:26 PM #
Great! If it fits in your hanky pocket, you can use it to enter data into your Palm and blow your nose with it!

RE: Multi purpose keyboard
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/9/2000 3:26:04 PM #
And wipe your BUM with it in those rare instances where there is no bathroom tissue..And the greatest thing of this is... You can wash it and still use your keyboard later..


the keyboard

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/9/2000 5:08:33 PM #
its a great idea with these Keyboard for your palm and PDA. But doesnt that kill the idea of getting a PDA to begin with?? I like the idea of writing and using the stylist pen. if i'm going to use a keyboard that just mean I will be doing alot of data entering. and for that I rather use a laptop. at least with my laptop I can watch DVD. =P


Spell @ 11/10/2000 10:28:38 AM #
Ok, I love my Stowaway Keyboard, but this looks even more "James Bond Tech" than that! I agree, one has to wonder about durability, how the keys feel, finding a very flat and rigid surface to type on, etc., but the IDEA of this technology is very very wild. It's not /quite/ a flying car...but imagine what the next wave of this technology could be! Truly wearable computers--suits with built in cell phones and keyboard hook ups!--or keyboards you unroll onto your desk and then can use as a pillow for naptime!

The potential is amazing. The price is tempting; $50 compared to the $99 for a Stowaway. The "wow" factor is very high. It could be far less "wow" in practice if it's hard to type on and "unravels" after a few washings,!

>shivers atari 400 shivers<

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/10/2000 10:53:51 AM #
One of the first computers that our family bought was an atari 400. It ran off of basic, and at the time you could get basic programs "you can program in yourself!" in magazines and the like. The prospect of playing games for free was exciting as heck to me, but trying to type them in using the crappy membrane keyboard was horrifying. The buttons were hard to push down, and it would often type 3 letters every time you just wanted one. This product reminds me of that. sorry for the lengthy tangent.


pricklysarah @ 11/11/2000 4:26:10 AM #
What a great idea, just wish it was here now....Getting Stowaway this weekend, which is the only option available here in the backward UK.

Better than folding

Keith Nealy @ 11/11/2000 4:18:11 PM #
This is definetly cool. Better than folding Palm keyboard, which was the sexiest so far.

how easy to type?

kc @ 11/13/2000 6:38:17 AM #
that would be my main concern.

I don't understand why everyone is so hyped...

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2000 12:36:44 PM #
Yeah, this is a pretty cool accessory for your Palm... and even though nothing like this exists for the Palm currents, this is not exactly *new* technology. It is simply buttons stored in cloth connected through wiring alone instead of circuit board. Cool yes, but not worth the oooh's and aaah's. I think the stow-away is probably still a better form factor for ultra portable keyboards.


TIM POTTER @ 11/14/2000 7:08:11 AM #
OK, but how much & when exactly


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