Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Touchfire Flexible Keyboard for iPad Touches Down

Remember when gadgets on Kickstarter only needed a few thousand dollars to get off the ground — before this and this happened?

The Touchfire is one such product, with an initial goal of raising $10,000 in a month and a half. The flexible, transparent keyboard overlay for iPad far surpassed its goal in December of last year, raising more than $200,000, and now is finally available for order in the U.S.

A little recap: The Touchfire is a clear silicone keyboard that fits on top of the iPad’s touch keypad and attaches magnetically, using the tablet’s built-in magnets. It weighs under an ounce, and costs $50.

The creators of Touchfire, tech entrepreneurs Steve Isaac and Brad Melmon, hit some bumps in the road during production. As recently as two days ago, some early backers of the project were complaining on the Kickstarter Web site that the company hadn’t sufficiently communicated the status of development and delivery.

But despite the fact that the company didn’t deliver until after the new iPad hit the market, Touchfire now says the accessory works with all versions of the iPad.

While I’m all for tactility, in the six-plus months since the Touchfire campaign closed, other devices have come to market that marry the iPad with slim, tactile keyboards — like this iPad cover from Logitech, or this Zagg Zaggfolio for iPad 2 and the new iPad.

Still, neither of those boast the super-bendy properties of the Touchfire, nor can they be rolled up and thrown in a bag (and easily cleaned afterward).

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald