Touchscreens may be extremely versatile and a good fit for mobile devices, but one thing they don’t lend themselves to well is extended typing sessions. As a result, we’ve seen numerous portable keyboards designed to easily fit in a pocket alongside your smartphone. Now LG is getting in on the act with its Rolly Keyboard, which it calls the industry’s first solid rollable wireless portable keyboard.
Rollable keyboards are nothing new, so long as they’re made from silicone. While these provide more tactile feedback than an onscreen keyboard, they still can’t hold a candle to the feel of a desktop keyboard. Designs like the Jorno and Thanko’s offering have attempted to effectively put a solid desktop keyboard in your pocket using different origami-like approaches. Now LG has brought the flexibility of rollable keyboards and the rigidity of foldable keyboards together in its Rolly Keyboard (model KBB-700).
Fashioned from impact-resistant polycarbonate and ABS plastic, the four rows of the Rolly’s keys are flexible, allowing them to roll around an elongated rectangular box that sits at the top of the keyboard when in use. This box houses two arms that fold out to support a smartphone or tablet, and the single AAA battery that powers the device for up to three months of average use.
Unrolling the keyboard will activate the auto-pairing function to connect to a mobile device via Bluetooth 3.0. The Rolly can also be paired to two devices at once and switch between them with a single button press. Rolling up the keyboard powers it down and sees the keyboard form a “stick” that can be carried in a pocket or purse.
Despite its portability, LG says the Rolly boasts a pitch, (the distance between the centers of two side-by-side keys), of 17 mm, which is close to the 18 mm pitch found on most desktop keyboards.
LG will unveil the Rolly Keyboard at IFA 2015 in September and says it is part of an effort to grab a greater slice of the mobile accessory market pie. The device will be released in the US next month, ahead of a fourth-quarter release in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Pricing details are yet to be announced.