ION Audio debuts world’s first desktop keyboard designed exclusively for iPhone and iPod touch

ION Audio has announced iTYPE, the world’s first desktop keyboard designed exclusively for iPhone and iPod touch. ION unveiled iTYPE at the Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Central Hall Booth 11714, Jan. 7-10, 2010).

iTYPE is a ccomputer keyboard for use with iPhone and iPod touch. This first-of-its-kind battery-powered peripheral transforms the handheld device from a touch-screen mobile device into an ultra-portable computer. iTYPE features a standard QWERTY keyboard layout with full-sized keys and the complete functionality of a desktop keyboard.

Travelers, vacationers and other iPhone and iPod touch users on the go will appreciate the weight-saving iTYPE, which can enable them to complete trips without taking their notebook computer. “For years, travelers have wanted to find a way to get out of the office or away from home without having to carry a heavy laptop computer,” said Gregg Stein, Managing Director, ION, in the press rleease. “iTYPE converts iPhone into the first truly complete travel-computing solution.”

According to reports, ION will price iTYPE around US$110. It will be available from during Q2 2010.

ION also announced iDISCOVER KEYBOARD, the music creation station for iPhone and iPod touch. iDISCOVER KEYBOARD transform a user’s iPhone or iPod Touch into a portable music production studio for mobile music creation. While iDISCOVER KEYBOARD is powerful enough for professional musicians, virtually anyone can use it to easily create music.

iDISCOVER KEYBOARD consists of a 25-key, battery-powered piano keyboard workstation with dock and a custom iDISCOVER KEYBOARD app for iPhone and iPod Touch. iDISCOVER KEYBOARD gives users velocity-sensitive, synth-action keys, pitch and modulation wheels, and physical buttons for the most commonly used controls including octave up and down and sound-bank selections. It features stereo RCA outputs and a headphone jack for connection to playback and recording systems. iDISCOVER KEYBOARD also has a USB/MIDI output so musicians can use it as a controller for MIDI software on Mac or PC.

The iDISCOVER KEYBOARD app gives musicians a virtual music studio on their device. It contains a variety of instruments including drums for playing and recording. The app also features an on-screen keyboard for use on the go. Users can play in musical ideas anywhere they go for further perfection at a later time.

iDISCOVER KEYBOARD will be available from during Q2 2010. No pricing information currently available.

Source: ION Audio

MacDailyNews Take:

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dirty Pierre le Punk” for the heads up.]


  1. MX, . . . have some coffee, and maybe your imagination will kick in.

    For instance: I wonder what an iPhone orchestra would sound like. Someone could create apps to play all the full orchestra’s instruments, and a system to amplify each. I suppose you might need a second iPhone or Touch screen to carry your sheet music.

    Think of what the next generation of street performers will be using.

    It goes on, . . . and on.

  2. I used to have a nice folding keyboard for my old Palm device. It fit nicely into a brief case. I wouldn’t mind having something like that for the iPhone again.

  3. OMG….

    I have been reading this site religiously for a few years now. I have chuckled more than once at a MDN take, or a witty comment. But I have to say: I laughed really hard when I saw MDN’s “Take” on this article. I don’t know why but I can’t stop giggling as I type this. People are walking by my office and looking at me strangely….

  4. Don’t knock the Radio Shack Model 100 too much. It was a great device in its day, good for taking notes in meetings without getting writer’s cramp.

    I was at a pre-bidders conference at a government agency way back then. Radio Shack was one of the prospective bidders. One of them was typing notes on the Model 100 during the meeting. They were the only ones who were high-tech, and it did make a splash. Everyone else, including me, was writing in longhand.

  5. I also had a Targus folding keyboard for my Handspring. Why hasn’t this been made for the iPhone / touch yet? It was perfect for banging out notes and other word processed stuff at a coffee shop. But it held the device at an angle, not flat like this. I think the angle was better.

  6. The main question is whether these additional keyboards can actually be used in all apps or if they work only in a special app that comes with the keyboard and forces you to copy text via cut&paste;to the actual app.

    To be universally usable, they would need to be able to insert a system-wide driver into iPhone OS X, which is not allowed at this time as far as I know.

    This depends a lot on what Apple will permit.

  7. The TRS 100 was a great computer for its day. In the early ’80s, I was working for Cooperative Extension, writing apps to be used in the field by Extension Agents. At the same time we were also writing apps for the Epson HX-20. The 100 had the bigger screen and was lighter, the HX-20 had this funky little printer that appeared to have been taken from a cash register – the output was narrow and in purple ink! But it was having ANYTHING that could print in the field.

  8. Classic post. Even more classic take. That really is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.
    A well-designed small form factor keyboard for the iPhone could be awesome. A stand would be necessary. Having to lay it down FLAT on a thing the size of whatever that relic from the early 80’s so you can’t read it is beyond moronic.
    They deserve to go out of business right now.

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