Tablet typing made easy: Touchfire adds 3D keys to your iPad Mini

touchfire23When Seattle-area product designers Steve Isaac and Brad Melmon created their first keyboard for the iPad, they crushed the Kickstarter funding goal by more than $190,000.

touchfire2The original TouchFire, still available today for $50, was a lightweight, silicone rubber keypad that overlaid the iPad’s touchscreen with 3D keys that people found useful. Now, Isaac and Melmon are turning their focus to the iPad Mini, as well as new keyboard-enabled iPad cases.

Typing on the Mini can be tough, but the designing duo just spent six months finding a way to build a TouchFire for the smaller iPad. They figured out how to spread the TouchFire keys apart just enough so typing was comfortable, but also still direct people’s fingers to the right keys on the iPad Mini.

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Steve Isaac and Brad Melmon from TouchFire.

Isaac and Melmon also built cases made specifically with TouchFIre integration for both the iPad and iPad Mini. The iPad Mini case with a TouchFire keyboard is going for $45 on Kickstarter, and you can score a regular iPad case for $25 without the keyboard.

While at Microsoft, Isaac helped develop early versions of Windows CE, Internet Explorer, MSN.com, ASP and ASP.NET. Melmon, meanwhile, worked at places like HP and Moto Development, designing everything from computers to toys.

The friends, who teamed up for TouchFire in 2010, have already passed their Kickstarter goal by more than $8,000. There are still 26 days remaining for the campaign.

  • Kevin Pierce

    I get that they are creating a better keyboard for typing on the screen, but point out that now you have one more thing to carry around and half your screen will be covered while using it. With that in mind, why not just get a Bluetooth keyboard and keep the entire screen visible for your use: http://www.neweggflash.com/Product/9SIA1FZ0K62853

    I have one and it works great.