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Finally, an iPad keyboard design that could rival Apple’s own

Apple’s (s aapl) own wireless Bluetooth keyboard, while not¬†specifically¬†designed for the iPad, still tops my list for the best-looking design of any keyboards that work with the tablet. But the Kickstarter-backed Levitatr may be a worthy challenger, should it meet its funding goal.

The Levitatr is an iPad Bluetooth keyboard with a magic trick up its sleeve: The actual keys emerge from a smooth surface at the press of a button, magically appearing when you’re ready to type. Activating the keys also activates backlighting, which will be a bright LED white in the final shipping version. Check out a prototype in action:

In black and aluminum, the Levitatr looks good either at rest or when its keys are out and ready to play, but that’s not the only advantage of its unique function. Levitatr designer James Stumpf explains that hiding keys away makes them less prone to getting gummed up with dirt and grime, and it prevents accidental keystrokes should it be jostled around in your bag, extending battery life.

Speaking of batteries, that might be the only real downside to the Levitatr: It requires four AAA batteries to run for an undisclosed amount of time. The absence of an internal battery may be annoying, but at least it will save you some charging time when you run low on power.

An integrated kickstand will support your iPad (or other Bluetooth-enabled mobile device), and five dedicated function keys are mapped to iPad-specific commands, like the Home button.

As a slim, low-profile Bluetooth keyboard with a very unique feature, the Levitatr stands a good chance of competing with the likes of Logitech’s impressive keyboard case(s logi) and Apple’s own offering, but it still has to meet its rather lofty funding target of $60,000. Offering Levitatr preorders for backers starting at the $79 level, which undercuts the Logitech offering by $20, just might help it reach that goal.

15 Responses to “Finally, an iPad keyboard design that could rival Apple’s own”

  1. WekPreofe

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  2. Congratulations. You’d be spending money to buy a keyboard to turn your tablet, into a very low powered and weakened netbook that can’t do much more then play videos, write emails, and browse the internet.

    Was it worth the 700-800 dollars for the tablet, and the keyboard? Really?

    • It’s amazing the trolls CONTINUE to throw out that tired old card Shal….tell the Dr’s, music producers, musicians, and a whole mess of other PROFESSIONALS that the iPad can’t do much more than surf, watch video’s and write emails….maybe if you’d actualy USE one instead of flapping your yap…

    • Hamranhansenhansen

      Yes. Definitely worth it. My iPad replaced $1500 worth of gear, including a portable multitrack recorder, Logic Control, USB key. And in a much smaller size, with longer battery life, more storage, and better interfaces. My iPad paid for itself many times over.

      > netbook

      I think you mean eBook. Not sure what a netbook is.

  3. Kobe Wild

    If your going to do a high production looking video.
    for god sakes mix your audio and music right.

    As for the product, not excited. trying to carry the ipad is hard enough trying to carry this really big keyboard is even more of a hassle. I wish you luck with your project but over all it does not float my boat.

  4. My PC Mart

    Wow, I’m impressed with the keyboard support for IPad. A light touch on the keyboard is really great same as the touch screen on the IPad results. It would be nice if it had a armrest on it.

  5. Congratulations James Stumpf! A classy concept and a nice price. The kickstand adds to the design. Also, I for one enjoyed the video and feel that it presents your product very well.
    Truthfully, the main reason for my comment is to offer congrats and maybe offset some more negative comments by folks who, apparently, have no idea of the work it takes to conceive the idea, design and build the product and get it to market. If it’s as good as it looks, I hope that you sell millions of them!