Blog Post

It’s a Bluetooth keyboard. It’s a VoIP handset. It’s… both?

As a long-time user of voice over IP calls on smartphones, tablets, and computers, this handy little handset has my interest. It’s a Japan-only product — although I’ve been known to import gadgets before — that looks like a small wireless keyboard. But it pulls double duty: Hold the device up to your ear and it works as a wireless handset for VoIP, Skype or other audio chat applications on mobile devices.

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. 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.

It looks to me as if there’s a headphone jack in the keyboard / handset as well. If I’m correct, you can essentially turn a regular pair of wired headphones in a wireless pair. 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. And there’s definitely cheaper solutions too: The keyboard / handset is priced at 18,690 Yen, which works out to $231.52 US!