Since its inception, the iPad has garnered an impressive following upon its initial release on April 3, 2010 in the United States. Today, many people are utilizing it in various applications below and beyond its intended usage. It is even looked upon as an equivalent to a laptop just as much as it is a touchpad, but due to its rather questionable keypad function many tend to overlook it in favor of the more practical laptop.
This is what inspired Steve Isaacs; a Seattle-based software designer who has worked with tablets before at Go Corporation, to create a new way on how to maximize the usability of the iPad‘s keypad function without suffering from flaws like unresponsive keys and discomfort. Now, you may deem the application of a silicone keypad as a rather redundant addition to an already remarkable device because of there being similar products already being sold at the market, but Isaacs specifically designed his to be able to bypass almost all of the aforementioned drawbacks by functioning as a regular keyboard and not just a plain simulation.
Isaacs and his partner Brad Melmon first proposed the project to Kickstarter; an online threshold pledge system that funds various creative projects and although it was rejected at first, a video demonstration was able to gain acceptance and thus enabling both men to raise the funds necessary to fully realize the prototype. They started off with an initial line of products for the backers which raised a total estimate of $201,400 by a week’s end, which was 10 times more than the intended goal of $10,000.
Isaac recently promoted his product further at The Associated Press’ San Francisco office at which he further explained its characteristics; the bumps on the underside of the keys which provide adequate resistance for the pressure applied by the fingers and the avoidance of unnecessary text which happens when applying even a little stress to the touchpad keys on the bare screen which sometimes occurs.
It has attained favor from various iPad users and other Kickstarter clients like Marci Liroff who is a Los Angeles based acting director that has vouched for its usability and convenience. In addition, it has garnered additional support from the media; describing the experience comparable to that of using an actual physical keyboard.
Some people however, are not all that convinced; specifically Ken Dulaney of Gartner Research, who has expressed skepticism over the TouchFire by citing its redundancy over the myriad of other keyboard variants for the iPad already available in the market.
Regardless, Steve Isaac remains firm and undeterred over the potential of his creation, seeing it as a revolutionary innovation that will improve the iPad in a way that would make even Steve Jobs himself proud.