Japan-based provider of PC accessories and digital audio and video devices Elecom is rolling out a combination Bluetooth keyboard and mobile handset, Electronista reports. The TK-MBD041 is aimed primarily at tablet users who want to have VoIP communications.
The devices measures 0.5 inches by 2 inches. The display, which splits in half, shows who's calling, and a button activates a speakerphone. The device also includes a headphone jack for private listening.
“I see this gadget, made by Elecom, as best paired with a tablet; especially one that’s in a dock or a stand-up case,” Kevin C. Tofel, writing for GigaOM, said. “I wouldn’t want to type a novel on the keyboard, but it offer some handy two-thumbed typing for some short text bursts, emails and such. And for those that want an old-school handset in lieu of headphones and a microphone, this does the trick. I particularly like the small display that shows caller ID information.”
The keyboard will be sold only in Japan and will retail for 18,690 yen or around $230 U.S.
“Are there better solutions for these activities out there? Sure, but you have to love some of the crazy gadgetry that comes out of the Asia region,” Tofel said.
Elecom has also made their Schedule St. personal organizer app for Android (News - Alert) phones available worldwide in an English version in addition to its already popular Japanese version.
The app features to-do lists, text messaging and picture messaging. It syncs with Google (News - Alert) Calendar and can use design “refills,” which sell for 200 yen ($2.47).
In related Bluetooth news, VTech has announced some new handsets which aim to offer many of the same functions of landline phones. One of their phones, the LS6195, is inspired by the land-line phone designs of the 20th century. They've also rolled out some ultra-modern phones, all of which feature wireless handsets and can connect to cell phones.
Edited by Jennifer Russell