Comments on: Bluetooth Wireless Stowaway Keyboard Coming Soon

New reports has been published that Think Outside will begin to offer a new Bluetooth Wireless keyboard next month. The company announced they were working on the device late last year.
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RhinoSteve @ 5/17/2004 1:54:28 PM #
I'm sure the approval process took longer than expected for the Bluetooth logo. This is going to do well. No more "which connector boogie" and one hardware SKU can fit for any BT Palm device.

Wonder how the power consumption is going to be?

-- Passive Agressive types need not apply.
RE: Great!
JonathanChoo @ 5/17/2004 2:24:09 PM #
This is great. With this device the majority of PDA users need not complain about the 'lack of UC' anymore. $150 is a bit steep but not unexpected for such a device. Wait for a few months after release and I am sure there would be other bluetooth PDA keyboard clones and the price will drop to a reasonable $100.

Psion 5> Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac 75 > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630
Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard Info.
pdangel @ 5/18/2004 4:51:29 AM #
Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard Think Outside, Inc.
The Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard is the perfect productivity companion to your smart phone, PDA, Tablet, Media Center PC or notebook almost any device that has Bluetooth technology supports this hot new product! With its genuine full-size 18 mm spacing between keys, the Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard allows you to quickly type email, memos, or surf the web in optimum comfort. The sleek, award winning, patented folding design is featured in the Design Collection at Museum of Modern Art in New York. Its unique design allows it to easily fit in a pocket or purse, so you can take it everywhere, yet opens to a full size keyboard when you need it. A lap-lock is included that allows the keyboard to be used on a lap perfect for airports and other tight spaces!

Bluetooth identifier : B01514
Created Date : 2004-05-14
Spec version : 1.2
PRD version : 1.0
Product ID : XTBT01
Software Version : v028
Hardware Version : DVT2
Qualified Product Notice : QPN_156-CTCMrev1.pdf
Compliant Portion : CPD_156-CTCMrev1.pdf
Qualified profile :

- HID-Dev-Keyboard-HID

Interop Devices : - -
Product Type : PROD
List Date : 2004-05-14
Product Contact Person : Victor Pan
Email :
Phone : (408) 551-4545 x 110
Company URL :
BQB : Eriksson, Lars

Over 1400 Qualified Bluetooth Products/Components

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: Great!
epotter @ 5/18/2004 9:48:42 AM #
1400 bluetooth devices

But how many of them are Palm compatible and how many of those are something besides a phone?

RE: Great!
Palmheld @ 5/18/2004 10:06:13 AM #
What's the advantage of Bluetooth over the IrDA keyboard? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Bluetooth consume more power? I've been using my ThinkOutside IrDA keyboard for about 5 months now (perhaps twice per week at approx. 3 hours each session) and it's still running on the first set of batteries. If the power utilization of my T|T3 and T39m Ericsson phone are any indication, then I highly doubt the BT keyboard will operate at the same level of power efficiency. I'll stay with IrDA for now, thank you.

- Well, it's doing something...
RE: Great!
timepilot84 @ 5/20/2004 8:06:20 PM #
Product ID : XTBT01

Crap. The "XT" seems to imply that it's going to be another 4 row, absolutely worthless (to me anyways), toy keyboard like they've been cranking out lately.

There's no way in hell I'm paying a premium for a half-assed toy keyboard. The keyboards they make these days are junk compared to the original 5-row stowaways. They're poorly designed, and aren't real keyboards. The keys aren't large enough, they don't have the up and down travel that a real keyboard has, and there's a gap in teh height of the two sides of the keyboard where the fold is.

I sure wish ThinkOutside would quit thinking outside of the bounds of ergonomic and effective design.

RE: Great!
futureT4user @ 5/21/2004 6:03:21 PM #
i can't wait, been looking forward to a BT keyboard. This will be the coolest thing since the folding keyboard.


epotter @ 5/17/2004 2:07:33 PM #
I am glad to finally see a palm compativle bluetooth device that is not a phone. I'll be gettnig one of these as soon as they come out.

RE: Finally
hkklife @ 5/17/2004 3:47:14 PM #
IDEALLY, this will have the same formfactor as the original Stowaway keyboard with the nice dedicated numeric keys. Hopefully, there will still be a way to keep the Palm propped up somehow. It'd be SUPER if they could squeeze a large-capacity battery into the keyboard and you could have a short power cable running from the keyboard to the Palm, charging the handheld while you type (and, optionally, have the keyboard plugged into the wall if there's an AC plug nearby). That'd eliminate the need for a travel charger and a PowerToGo-type battery sled. Just take your Palm, the BT keyboard, and a single wall wart and everything can be recharged!

RE: Finally
cbowers @ 5/17/2004 4:20:44 PM #
"...and you could have a short power cable running from the keyboard to the Palm..."

Indeed, one SKU for universal connecter versions, one SKU for USB versions (charging takes all night though), another SKU for Tapwave...

RE: Finally
Bernie_eigl @ 5/17/2004 4:47:25 PM #
"and you could have a short power cable running from the keyboard to the Palm"

wouldn't this defeat the purpose of a WIRELESS keyboard?

RE: Finally
hkklife @ 5/17/2004 4:47:59 PM #
No, if someone has some foresight, have a regular male AC plug for the new Zires & T|E. Then have a tip adapter like Radioshack & Belkin like to sell for their DC power plugs--a UC tip, a Tapwave and even a Sony tip. Or sell the thing with the male AC tip standard and have a voucher in the box for one free tip (just play S/H) and others are like $5 apiece. Bingo! Instant sure-fire success!

RE: Finally
dona83 @ 5/17/2004 6:14:24 PM #
I don't know about the Think Outside UC keyboards, but the ones from Logitech were horrible. it was like writing on a PowerMac 75 or something, the lag was horrendus and it slowed the handheld down like hell. I got the Palm Think Outside IR keyboard and it's a beauty. No slow downs at all, but I would like to charge my PDA at the same time. I would only buy the BT keyboard if it is proven to be as fast or faster than the IR keyboard, and I would buy one if I didn't already buy the IR keyboard, unfortunately I already did. *shrugs*

RE: Finally
dustbunny44 @ 5/17/2004 6:36:13 PM #
Why just for Palms?
I would make a solid foldable BT keyboard my main keyboard for desktop and PDA too.
One KB to rule them all ....

RE: Finally
bcombee @ 5/18/2004 1:03:16 AM #
dona, there's a new driver for the Logitech Typeaway for Palm OS 5 devices that might really improve your experience with the device. Check out

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog

Love BT but...

Hazniet @ 5/18/2004 10:02:33 AM #
I am one for the Bluetooth technology, but the lack of devices here in the US is frightful. At $150 this keyboard is turning BT into the next springboard expansion slot - expensive. I shouldn't have to pay more than $80-100 for a keyboard no matter if its wireless or not.

If you feel like you're under control, you're just not going fast enough.
RE: Love BT but...
cbowers @ 5/18/2004 11:15:40 AM #
Indeed, even Apple (certainly not known for low prices) has a full size bluetooth keyboard for $89.

One problem, tho...

red_five @ 5/18/2004 10:36:54 AM #
You can't use this on an airplane. Bluetooth may be short range, but if you can't even use a FM radio or a Watchman, which only receive RF, you won't be able to use this unless it gets FAA approval.

Other than that, it sounds great. I have one of the original UC Folding Keyboards, and I still use it on my T3.

RE: One problem, tho...
acaltabiano @ 5/18/2004 11:18:34 AM #
Someone earlier mentioned Power consumption as well. Yipes, that could be a big concern. First off, your PDA will surely last maybe half as long, and then you have to have a power supply for the KB, too. Ouch.

And the possibility of not being able to use it in some places (airport, airplane)? That sucks, too.

I like the idea of a BT KB, but I feel that until battery technology catches up (in the next few years, so I have heard recently), power-hungry ideas like this are not capable of being widely integrated. I like my BT TT3 and S56, but even just the small things I do use those for (dialing #'s, sms, phone and headset), I can see a noticable difference in battery life. When I use it in my 3-hour long classes, of which I have 2-3 a day, a BT KB would leave me Docs-to-go-less VERY quickly. I need longevity, too...

RE: One problem, tho...
scottr @ 5/20/2004 6:37:34 PM #
The aiport/airplane usage is not an issue. The FAA has not done anything with Bluetooth, and it is currently treated like all other electronic devices, which are allowed all the time except takeoff/landing.

driver ?

Bernie_eigl @ 5/18/2004 5:33:24 PM #
"...In December 2003, Think Outside announced that they had created a royalty-free keyboard driver that utilizes the Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) profile"

Is this driver available somewhere? I'm probably just half asleep, but I followed the link, and can't find a bluetooth driver.

RE: driver ?
timepilot84 @ 5/20/2004 8:04:58 PM #
From what I read, the driver was only made available to hardware manufacturers.

Will it support simultaneous HID and BT wireless data?

alee @ 5/18/2004 7:59:56 PM #
Unless I will be able to maintain a wireless connection over Bluetooth while using a BT keyboard, this device won't have much use to me.

If it does support multiple BT connections simultaneously, I'm first in line to buy it!

RE: Will it support simultaneous HID and BT wireless data?
Winter_ @ 5/19/2004 4:42:11 PM #
Perhaps I'm not understanding what is worrying you, but there should be no problem. BT was designed for piconets of 7 devices, IIRC. And the keyboard should not steal much bandwidth, so I guess your biggest problem would be the battery.

P.D.: Heh. Look here.

RE: Will it support simultaneous HID and BT wireless data?
timepilot84 @ 5/20/2004 7:56:03 PM #
Bluetooth is designed to support 7 simultaneous connections, but the PalmOS implementation can only handle a single serial connection at one time. This is the problem. If you'd like to test this yourself, fire up your Bluetooth LAN access (which uses the RFComm to connect to a network via PPP) and then try and do a Bluetooth Sync (which also uses RFComm to create a virtual serial port). You'll see that only one serial connection can be maintained at one time. Since there is no specific wireless keyboard profile defined in the Bluetooth stack, it would make sense that the keyboard would also use the serial connection profile provided by RFComm which would imply no Bluetooth Internet at the same time as you use the BT keyboard.

Limited to 1 BT RFComm connection!?
Winter_ @ 5/21/2004 6:40:38 AM #
Oh man... I found that hard to believe, but after reading a bit looks like you are right.

How nasty. Talk about "crippling OS"... :P

RE: Will it support simultaneous HID and BT wireless data?
igor_n @ 5/21/2004 9:16:15 AM #
HID profile works over two L2CAP sockets.HID device can't work over RFCOMM. Theoretically BT keyboard and BT network connection should work simultaneously.



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