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Think Outside Announces Bluetooth Keyboard & Profile

Think Outside, maker of the Stowaway Keyboards, has announced that it has created a royalty-free keyboard driver that utilizes the Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) profile. In addition, the company had announced a new Bluetooth Keyboard to be available next year.

As a result, device manufacturers will be able to include Think Outside's keyboard HID driver in their Bluetooth-enabled products to ensure that they will support an external keyboard in the future. Think Outside will make the profile available to any OEM interested in including it in a smartphone or PDA design.

Bluetooth Keyboard and DriverOne of the design limitations of Bluetooth has been that OEMs had to license a Bluetooth software stack from a software supplier to make their devices operational, and a HID profile had to be either licensed or created. The HID profile lists a series of devices, and it is this list that tells the Bluetooth radio how to communicate with a specific device. If a Bluetooth product doesn't have a particular device listed in its profile, it can't communicate with it.

"Until now, OEMs who were interested in providing a Bluetooth keyboard had to purchase a license for a keyboard HID profile," said Greg van den Dries, vice president of sales and marketing for Think Outside. "To address this compatibility and cost issue, Think Outside has developed a HID profile for keyboards and is making it available, free of royalties, to OEMs. This offer will allow any device manufacturer to support external keyboards in their Bluetooth products, either now or in the future."

New Bluetooth Keyboard
In related news, Think Outside today also announced its Stowaway Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard, a new Bluetooth-enabled Stowaway keyboard for use with compatible smartphones and PDAs. This full-sized, collapsible mobile keyboard is based on a reference design that is capable of being modified to meet an OEM's specifications, to speed their time to market with Bluetooth keyboard products for smartphones and PDAs.

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Great News

kevdo @ 12/9/2003 1:43:38 PM #
I wasn't a great fan of the IR wireless keyboards. This is a much better idea. Think Outside rocks!

I just hope the design is as nice as the original Stowaway or XT.

-Kevin Crossman

RE: Great News
acaltabiano @ 12/9/2003 2:58:58 PM #
great for the occasional typer, maybe... But won't this be way too much of a drain on batteries? My TT3 wouldn't last 2 lectures with this, i would imagine. Still sticking with the original Stowaway...

RE: Great News
LiveFaith @ 12/9/2003 5:40:03 PM #
Yep, BT hammers the battery more than IR. A TT3 or UX with this is probably not going to last long. When I use my folding keyboard and m505, I'm on it sometimes for 1-2 hours. I doubt these new devices ability to go very long.

I love the new Palm IR model. I guess BT could offer the PDA in one place and keyboard in another? How far can you realistically and ergonomically be from a 3.5" screen though?

Nevertheless, bring it on next year.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

w00t! GO THINKOUTSIDE!

nekrataal @ 12/9/2003 3:35:42 PM #
Finaly a bluetooth keyboard for my T|3. YEAH!! Think Outside Rocks!

RE: w00t! GO THINKOUTSIDE!
Navamske @ 12/9/2003 3:48:33 PM #
||Think Outside Rocks!||

Well, that's probably a lot easier than trying to think *inside* of rocks...

Do *they* think it's "news"?

cbowers @ 12/9/2003 3:45:59 PM #
One would think such an item would be worth of mention on their own website.
Apparently the last "current news" item was Nov. 18th.

There's actually no mention of Bluetooth anywhere on the whole site according to Google.


RE: Do *they* think it's
TASKA @ 12/9/2003 3:52:04 PM #
Does any of Palm BT model support HID profile? Nobody seems to ask this queation.
RE: Do *they* think it's
batmon @ 12/9/2003 4:26:06 PM #
I will be great if the keyboard also works with desktop PC. This way, I don't need to have all these keyboards everywhere.



BT ideas

Konstantin @ 12/9/2003 5:02:20 PM #
I think the ThinkOutside Utlra Thin keyb is the far best of the keyboards using the UC. And I just think that it would be better to have a BT adapter wich would connect to the Ultra Thin keyboard and that is it. One could switch from BT to UC in a flash and use wich ever is prefered in the ocasion.

On the other hand, how do TT3 or any other BT enabled PalmOs device difference between on self BT keyboard/device from another. If a person is trying to use a BT keyb with his TT3 near me will activate my TT3?


RE: BT ideas
JonathanChoo @ 12/9/2003 5:33:24 PM #
Each Bluetooth chip has a unique own 48-bit binary Remote Device Address.

If a person uses a T3 with his Bluetooth keyboard, it won't activate yours because a profile has not been set between your T3 with that keyboard. That is why me and my girlfriend has same T3s, same T610s and same HBH-15 Bluetooth headsets that never conflict.

Generic Casio > Psion 5/StarTac > Vx > m505 > Sony N770C > Sony T625C/Ericsson T39m > Sony NR70V > Toshiba e310 > Tungsten T/Ericsson T68m > HP h2210 > Tungsten T3/Ericsson T610

Slightyly off topic
LiveFaith @ 12/9/2003 5:59:10 PM #
Jonathan,
You and your girlfriend have exactly the setup that I am planning on purchasing. Are you able to use the T3 with T610/616 simultaneously with a BT headset?


Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: BT ideas
cbowers @ 12/9/2003 8:24:56 PM #
"I think the ThinkOutside Utlra Thin keyb is the far best of the keyboards using the UC. And I just think that it would be better to have a BT adapter wich would connect to the Ultra Thin keyboard and that is it. One could switch from BT to UC in a flash and use wich ever is prefered in the ocasion. "

I have both it and the PPK (though the PPK is in the III series connector). I find I hate having to use the FN keys for numbers and symbols compared to the PPK, but that's me. As for you BT adaptor idea, it's been done by a Korean company, but I see no sign of them selling it. I have a brochure from them with a BT module sitting on a PPC version of the original Stowaway keyboard. Seems a shame it's not on the market (along with needed PalmOS driver additions).

RE Slightyly off topic
jamiefrost @ 12/10/2003 4:07:04 AM #
Pat,

I've got the same setup. You can dial the phoe over BT from your address book the phone then switches to the BT headset When dialing. Great!

jamie

For Palm?

ganoe @ 12/9/2003 7:05:31 PM #
So was there anyplace in this announcement that actually said there is going to be a Palm OS driver?
RE: For Palm?
aardvarko @ 12/9/2003 7:25:05 PM #
Think Outside, maker of the Stowaway Keyboards, has announced that it has created a royalty-free keyboard driver


hmm.

-aardvarko
webmaster at aardvarko dot com
http://aardvarko.com

Number row?

Marshall Flinkman @ 12/10/2003 9:54:31 AM #
Have they said whether the BT keyboard will have a separate number row, or just the four of the XT style?

Hoohoo!

cyberdude @ 12/10/2003 1:28:35 PM #
It's about time a BT keyboard has been released.

Multipointed screw move!

RhinoSteve @ 12/10/2003 7:41:54 PM #
And across the land of IP code miser guru's as their royality checks dry up, the name of "Think Outside" is being cursed.

Good move guys! This really evens out the playing field for mass marketed BT keyboards.

No Palm OS support

neuron @ 5/27/2004 4:46:56 PM #
It has been released today and accept preordering., unfortunately, no any single Palm OS device supported.

http://www.thinkoutside.com/products/stowaway-bt.html

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