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Fold-away physical iPhone keyboard hits Kickstarter

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Sitting on top of the iPhone's on-screen keyboard, Spike offers a physical replacement, folding back into a case when not in use.

Spike iPhone keyboard models
Spike iPhone keyboard models

Spike, a physical keyboard for the iPhone 4 and 4S which folds away into a case, has appeared on Kickstarter. Unlike most keyboard accessories for the iPhone and iPad, Spike doesn't require a Bluetooth or dock connection — instead, it positions itself directly above the virtual keyboard on the device's screen, providing a fully tactile equivalent.

It's an interesting idea, but it may not be practical for those who don't spend much time with their iPhone's keyboard. Spike's creators attempt to mitigate this issue by allowing the device to fold back into the attached case, but it creates an odd bulge on the back of the phone.

Assuming that Spike reaches its Kickstarter target of $75,000, units will start shipping at some point in October. To get a basic model, backers will need to put up at least $25 — a deluxe version with a strengthened case costs $50.