iControlPad 2: The Open Source Controller

Having had a few tip-offs for this great looking product, and with only a few days to go to reach their target on KickStarter, I thought I’d make a post about the iContolPad.

It seems that there are a lot of QWERTY nuts like me out there so this would appear to offer the best of both worlds:  a snap on keyboard for when you require your touchscreen phone to be more versatile and the ability to simply remove it if you don’t need the extra ‘baggage’.

iControlPad: Shown Holding an Iphone

 

The iControlPad not only offers a full QWERTY experience, but also offers gaming controls which could be really handy.

Here are some quick facts:

• Fully user programmable microcontroller, running open-source software

• 55 key keyboard – Shoulder buttons – Twin analogue nubs – High-quality Dpad

 New swivel clamp for easier phone handling

• Works as a standard HID (keyboard, joystick, iCade etc) for anything with either bluetooth or USB connections (Mac, PC, Phones, Tablets, PS3 etc.)

Go and check out the video here and pledge if you like what you see as they appear to only have 3 days left to get their target!

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  1. I tried this with the swivel out yet antoerh i targetted accessory keyboard and what happened is that the weight of the phone makes it fall forwards out of your hands plus the bluetooth performance was super lousy with many missed keys and double key presses since it was targeted at iphony.

    • Oh I didn’t think the iControlPad 2 (the one with the QWERTY part) had been out for public release yet ? Was that your experience with the original iControlPad – the one with only gaming buttons ? If so, that’s a little disappointing. :-(

  2. It looks awful and awkward. Thanks for the contribution, but I would vote for a builtin slideout. Don’t want to carry extra hardware, less mounting it every time using the terminal.

    • +1 to the built-in keyboard. Even if it worked well I wouldn’t want to charge / haul around a separate BT keyboard. In the poll results interesting arguments have been made both ways. For my own part, while I’d very much like to try Meego and switch away from Android, if Jolla’s phone doesn’t have a keyboard I’ll continue to wait. :-(

      • I agree completely with akismet-…
        Fir balanced and natural use, it should be the phone designer and manufacturer who adds the electro-mechanical qwerty keyboard. Like the sliding keyboards of Nokia N810 Internet Tablet and Nokia N900 (with 4 rows of keys, though).

        Sorry to say, but for me your keyboard remains only as a play controller and an ad-hoc solution for those who insist on using a physical Qwerty while waiting for an “N950i ” phone with incorporated physical Qwerty.

    • I agree to an extent, but for those who want the touchscreen form factor with the ability to add QWERTY function when they need it, this is still a good option.

  3. The layout is quite insuitable for the languages of continental Europe. For example, when localized to the German, Swedish and Finnish languages, on the right-hand side of the L there should be two keys: for the Ö and Ä keys. The same applies to the Ø and Æ keys of the Norwegian anf Danish languages, and the extra letters of practically all European languages. And a couple of additional keys will be needed by some languages, such as French, Russian and Hungarian.

    This defect is easy to correct: move the three leftmost keys to the free space above number keys (Esc, Tab, and the key on the left side of the Z key). They are practically never needed with smartphones, for example. This modification will make the layout more balanced: the TGB keys (of the left hand or thumb) can be reached better with the left-hand thumb.

    There are innumerable other details which zhould be changed for European and Latin American market, but I will comment them later.

    • I forgot to write “… and move all keys one step to the left, which will allow using the three letter keys for the extra characters (letter or accents) of each localized language.

      Instead of stickers, it might be more practical to deliver the keyboard with language-specific keymats. One for the French AZERTY, one for the German QWERTZ, one for Scandinavian QWERTY, one for Spanish QWERTY, one for Russian layout, etc

  4. It’s a shame – maybe if there is enough demand for the product they would consider specific country variants – I guess there would have to be a demand first because that’s how they took the original design into production.

  5. The buttons.. are way to small. There is no way in hell the keyboard on that one will be useful to me, though I’m still considering getting it solely for the gamepad part :)