Cell Phone Accessories
Octodon seeks a come-from-behind victory in smartphone typing

The iPhone pioneered the idea that  a bigger screen was worth giving up the tiny thumb keyboard that had been the hallmark of the BlackBerry. That idea won in the marketplace. However, it hasn’t stopped people from giving up the idea that a portable device could restore the tactile response of a phycial keyboard.

Octodon may be the most unusual handheld keyboard ever created. After being unfolded from its pocket-friendly flat form factor and placed behind the smartphone magnetically, it appears ti give the smartphone a pair of wings. The user’s fingers cradle the Occtodon, which includes a number of discs to navigate among letters in its keyboard app. Once someone masters the controls needed to input certain keys, the custom keyboard can be hidden for full-screen typing.  The developers seek $150,000 in their Kickstarter campaign by May 15. The device, which costs $145 (with a $20 early bird discount aavailable) is due to ship in October.

The Octodon isn’t the first project that facilitates text input while standing with a rear-facing keyboard. In late 2013, the TrewGrip failed to meet its funding goal but nonetheless made it to market. The Octodon is far smaller than that device, but seems to have an even steeper learning curve. That and its price will loom large as barriers to adoption.

Arthur Tufeau is a contributor to Backerjack.