Tiny keyboard/touchpad has “hack” written all over it

Yes, we know, this is not a hack, yet it just has the vibe of something we’ll likely be seeing in many small form-factor systems and wearable hacks in the future.

The USB Wireless Handheld Keyboard is a diminutive keyboard and mouse replacement with a passing resemblance to a BlackBerry PDA — where the screen has been replaced with a laptop-style trackpad sensor. This seems a shoo-in for home theater PC use; it’s unobtrusive and won’t look out of place on the coffee table alongside the universal remote. But any tiny system requiring only occasional input could likely benefit.

The keyboard layout is funky as heck, though likely adequate for its intended use of couch web-surfing and interactive messaging (or whatever wild applications our readers will surely come up with). A USB wireless receiver and a charging cable are included in the $62 package. Video after the break…

[USB Geek via Engadget]

27 thoughts on “Tiny keyboard/touchpad has “hack” written all over it

  1. This is pretty great, as soon as I saw the picture I thought of using it for a Home Theater PC i want to build. Might not be a bad investment.

  2. From the USBgeek website:
    “2.4GHz radio frequency, up to 30 feet effective working range”
    That implies Bluetooth RF, so likely wifi sniffing wouldn’t be a problem.

  3. @Chris:
    This device doesn’t use WiFi. It runs on 2.4 GHz, but no WiFi tools would work against it. Not to say it would be impossible to intercept communication between the device and the receiver, but that is the same for all wireless HIDs.

    I was interested until I saw that price, way too much for something like that. Maybe if it was Bluetooth instead of some proprietary protocol it would be another story.

  4. I saw one of these things in our local Maplins.
    Couldn’t justify the £40 they asked for it though, thats $65 to you guys across the pond!
    Let me guess how much you guys can pick them up for…haven’t checked…I’d wager less than 40 US dollars?
    I love living in Britain. :-(

  5. yeah the price is too high, I’d expect a colour screen as well for that price. A hack would be using an old mobile (pref. blackberry) via bluetooth for a lot less.

  6. 62$ is not that bad for an emerging product. When they become popular and mass manufactured in China well it’ll be like 10 bucks. I’m kind of stumped as to what to do with something with a 30ft range, something new that is.

  7. What dows this have over the $43.96 Bluetooth PS3 keypad? only tried and know if touchpad is like a Synaptics(tap to click) or like the PS3 keypad(have to use the buttons to mouse click)

    The PS3 keypad is smaller cheaper. and is a standured Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse. thou it not a US keymap. some strange english/Frence one. any Canadians out there want to try to id it?

    I us the PS3 keypad to IM and as a VLC remote and have no problems using it with US keymap thou you can’t use the silk screen for some of the poctuation. thou I have to use ` instead of ‘

  8. >> You do realise you are probably the only person within 5 miles that knows what wifi sniffing is.

    dang, i think mit is exactly 5.01 miles from here.. you win. but i’d imagine somewhere inside this thing it’s got half a usb interface that is just dying to be swapped out for bluetooth

    and srsly why is there so little love for nubbins ?? they require less motion on the user’s part and have a fraction of the footprint of a touchpad

  9. Yea, all of you “Oh my iPhone can do that” “Oh my G1 can do that!”

    Stop a minute and think how much you paid (or are paying) for that phone.

  10. I think this is a great idea – but like the above I wouldn’t pay £40 for it right now… may £25 – or even £30 at a push…

    I can see what this is useful for thou – in my ‘computer room’ I have my PC about 8 foot from me when i am sitting back and watching stuff – the trackball mouse i have is good for controlling the pointer – but even with a RF keyboard it’s still quiet a beast to have on my lap / next to me – if i could combine both that would be great.

    I am rarely doing more than typing in urls and renaming files, so the small keyboard would be fine.

    Seen a few saying G1 or iphone can do similar – anything out there for symbian?

  11. yeah i agree with some others here my phone does te same.. (palm pre..)

    (btw palm pre is a way better hacker’s tool. runs on linux :-) )

  12. what do you think the lag is on this? I might be interested in having a decent but cheap wireless input device for triggering sounds during musical performance.

    However, it wouldn’t be worth it if there was lag. What do you guys think? How bad could it be?

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