TrewGrip had a Kickstarter campaign going on last year, which they failed to hit their $100k goal. But the founders didn't give up on their dream of bringing "rear typing" to the masses. At CES today, TrewGrip unveiled their titular product, which is a keyboard for the smartphones that very literally turns the idea of a QWERTY keyboard on it's head. Other Bluetooth keyboards on the market aim for portability or the more natural-feeling tactility, the TrewGrip asks you to type backwards, you're actually typing on the bottom of the device. While you're typing, corresponding lights illuminate on the device's top, letting you know which key you have pressed.
The only buttons on the front are the Tab, Enter, Space and back keys. Which you can press with your thumbs. The TrewGrip uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or small tablet. Which the TrewGrip will hold in place using a sticky pad on it's front, but the device can also connect to TVs and computers. There is also an accelerometer inside the device which acts as a mouse, and the company is actively working on gestures to help you "flick" to the next page or field in a document. "The learning curve for TrewGrip is virtually the same as a split fixed-angle ergonomic keyboard, which equates to about 8-10 hours" according to the company.
The company's CEO Mark Parker says "YOu need to stop thinking about it and let your fingers move the way they've been trained." Of course, that's easier said than done. "We want to focus on the healthcare industry", Parker said "They hate the concept of having to hunt and peck on a tablet or sit in the corner. They want to maintain eye contact with the patient." Parker says that the TrewGrip should be shipping in the second half of 2014 and will cost about $250.
It's definitely an interesting product, and I'll be interested to see how it works out in 2014. Hopefully they won't suffer any other setbacks in 2014.