One of the strangest products revealed at CES 2014 this January was also one of the finalists for Best of CES. The Mobile QWERTY keyboard from TrewGrip takes the classic computer keyboard, separates each side, flips it over and puts the keys on the back with side grips for the user to hold with their hands. This takes the touch type experience to a whole new level. A tablet or smartphone is placed in the center of the device and communicates with the keyboard via Bluetooth. The ergonomic design is supposed to be a tactile substitute for the touch screen tablet typing experience, but it is certainly an odd arrangement.
They say the TrewGrip takes about a week or two to fully master. However, once users familiarize themselves with the keyboard, the results are extraordinary. There are some who have used the TrewGrip in typing contests, with one contestant reportedly having accomplished 115 words per minute while using the device. That is no small fete considering the awkward design, but it is not even close to the record of 256 wpm set by American Sean Wrona, the first Ultimate Typing Championship winner, who used a standard computer keyboard.
If you are the hunt and peck typist, then this product is most likely not for you (TrewGrip’s keyboard does, however, offer a light-up guide to help with the transition). In fact, it is difficult to say who this product is for. A touch typist is always going to use a traditional keyboard to get things done and a tablet would not be considered the go-to for productivity anyway. It is no surprise that their Kickstarter campaign initially failed. In time, they were able to generate enough buzz during CES to go ahead with production. The Mobile QWERTY keyboard from TrewGrip is available for pre-order.