In this business I come across many different types of products – some of them are functional, some are revolutionary and some are just dull and utilitarian. But once in a while something lands on my desk that is just so damn cool that I can’t help but want it, whether I need it or not.
One of those super-cool products is sitting in front of me right now, and there isn’t a single member of the TrustedReviews team that hasn’t expressed a desire, nay, a need for one of these babies. The i-Tech Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard is one of those devices that you may have imagined was still in the realms of science fiction, but it’s real, it’s here and it works.
Unlike any other keyboard, the i-Tech doesn’t actually have any keys. In fact it doesn’t resemble a keyboard in any way – instead looking like a prop from 2001 A Space Odyssey. But thankfully, you’re not going to find homicidal apes bashing each other to death around the i-Tech.
Looking like an extra terrestrial black monolith may be part of what makes the i-Tech cool, but it’s actually the functionality that’s the really cool part. Stand the i-Tech on a desk/table/any flat surface and press the button on the side – instantly the image of a keyboard will be thrown onto the surface in front of it. Press the button again and the keyboard disappears – magic!
Of course just having a keyboard projected onto your desk isn’t much use unless you have some kind of device connected to it. Here i-Tech has pulled the stops out and gone for a Bluetooth connection method, allowing the keyboard to be connected to a multitude of devices, without the shackles of any wires.
There’s a list of compatible devices on the i-Tech website here. Here you’ll find that the keyboard is compatible with Windows 2000 and Windows XP if you’ve got a Bluetooth dongle of course. There’s also a list of Pocket PC, Palm and Smartphone devices that are also compatible.
I decided to test the keyboard with a couple of devices that aren’t on the compatibility list – an Orange SPV C500 and a Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720. Although loading the driver and configuring it is definitely a pain, once correctly setup the i-Tech worked perfectly with both my test beds – so don’t despair if your PDA or phone isn’t on the list.
Once the i-Tech keyboard is connected up to your device of choice via Bluetooth, it’s just a case of opening a text editor application (such as Word) and tapping away at your desk. Typing on the i-Tech is a bit tricky at first, and you’ll probably find yourself making quite a few mistakes at first.