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Typing Away on Your PDA

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Typing away on a PDA. Bloomberg Bootcamp, a report on today's technology. They are ingenious folding keyboards first designed for Palm computers by a company called Think Outside...

"The product started shipping in February of last year and within twelve months we've shipping over a million units."

Think Outside President Phil Baker. The company has kept busy with redesigns of the Stowaway keyboard for different models of Palm and PocketPC computers. Why the demand?

"It basically gives you the full capability of a desktop keyboard to use with your handheld. And what it does is, it enables handhelds to do so much more than they were originally meant to do. You can take notes in meetings, you don't have to use a notebook to carry it around. And we're finding that many of our customers are using these keyboards along with their handheld as a substitute for a notebook for many applications."

A big selling point has been the design that lets users fold the keyboard up to a size not much bigger than the PDA itself...

"We've been very fortunate in coming up with a design that we've been able to manufacture with very high reliability. It's been phenomenal.

The Stowaway keyboards are sold by Targus and Palm for under a hundred dollars. There are 22 versions in all. About the future... perhaps devices beyond portable keyboards...

"We don't like to talk about unannounced products but you can be sure that what we have here in the Stowaway is just the tip of the ice berg."

Think Outside President Phil Baker. Bloomberg Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin.