Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Think Outside today announced the first portable keyboard for wireless phones. The Motorola iBoard(TM) keyboard was designed by Think Outside in cooperation with Motorola for use with the Motorola i85s and i50sx Internet-ready wireless handsets and future models. The keyboard leverages and extends the mobile computing power of these handsets, giving users the option of a full-size keyboard for such tasks as composing e- mail messages and entering date book appointments.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010806/CGM001 )
The Motorola iBoard keyboard offers unique function keys that optimize the phone operations. For example, it allows users to launch programs such as expense pad, note pad, and date book; surf the wireless web, turn the phone off, adjust the volume, and activate the speakerphone directly from the keyboard.
The Motorola iBoard keyboard is a 100 percent full-size, collapsible keyboard for wireless phones, similar to Think Outside's award-winning Stowaway(TM) Portable Keyboard for handheld computers. It allows users to enter text into their handsets quickly and comfortably, with an experience comparable to the best laptop keyboards. Folding from a full size 13 1/2" x 5" x 3/4" (343 x 127 x 13 mm) to a compact 3 1/2" x 5" x 3/4" (89 x 127 x 19 mm), the Motorola iBoard keyboard's ingenious design and lightweight construction enable true mobility.
The Motorola i85s and i50sx wireless handsets are the first Java(TM) 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME(TM)) technology-enabled handsets in North America. Java technology allows users to customize their devices with applications to meet their individual needs, such as productivity tools and games.
"The full-size Motorola iBoard keyboard is a breakthrough for users of the Motorola i85s and i50sx handsets, allowing them to compose longer e-mail messages more quickly and easily on the job or at home," said Bill Werner, corporate vice president of Motorola and general manager of the company's iDEN Subscriber Group. "While the handsets' keypads are convenient for brief, on- the-go text entry, the iBoard keyboard offers users the option of a full-size keyboard for composing e-mail messages or for entering text into the handset's phone book, date book and Java applications."
"This keyboard is a logical complement to Motorola's multiple communication handsets because they are geared for the mobile professional," said Bob Olodort, chief executive officer and co- founder of Think Outside and inventor of the iBoard keyboard. "This accessory can help users to maximize the powerful features of these Internet-enabled Java technology-equipped handsets."
"Today's mobile workforces need devices that offer multiple options for user input," said Kevin Burden, program manager of the Smart Handheld Devices Group of market research firm International Data Corp. "Users' requirements change, depending on whether they are at the airport, in a meeting, or at a remote job site, and their mobile computing devices should have the flexibility to meet those changing needs."
Pricing and Availability
A protective neoprene case is included with the Motorola iBoard keyboard. The portable keyboard is available through Motorola (www.idenstore.com). The keyboard and the Motorola i85s and i50sx handsets are available through iDEN network operators including Nextel Communications and Southern LINC in the United States and TELUS Mobility in Canada. Retail channels include Nextel Retail Stores, Comp USA, Staples, Office Depot, and Ritz Camera. The suggested retail price is $99.99.
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