iPad keyboards and cases aren’t anything new, but a new product being promoted on the site Kickstarter is starting to attract a lot of attention for its unique design and construction. Called Brydge, it’s a specially designed iPad keyboard/case that transforms your iPad into a laptop-like device capable of performing many of the same functions that a regular laptop does.
Created by the development team of Brad, Eddie and Sam, Brydge is made from aerospace-grade aluminum that has been machined and anodized so that it matches the look and feel of the iPad. When the two are joined together they appear to be two parts of the same device, seamlessly combining style with functionality.
The Brydge plus iPad is about the size and weight of a MacBook Air. The Brydge is designed to work with iPad2 and iPad3, but not the iPad 1, because the back is curved in a way that differs from the current iPads.
Brydge’s most unique feature is the exclusive, patent pending hinge that connects to your iPad. This click-in hinge holds the iPad secure while allowing for close to 180 degrees of positioning, letting you get the perfect viewing angle. The hinge lets you close the case entirely for convenient transportation. Once closed, both the iPad and Brydge go to sleep automatically.
The Brydge employs a clamp constructed from metal alloys with a thermoplastic elastomer shell that uses friction and magnetism to hold the iPad securely in place – even shaking it won’t cause the iPad to fall out of the case. The iPad snap s into place easily, and when you need to release the iPad, you just hold down on the Brydge and pull your iPad free.
The full-sized QWERTY keyboard has been designed specifically for an iPad, with iPad functions built in. The keyboard charges through a USB connection. Brydge connects with your iPad via bluetooth, eliminating the need to for any extra wires or plugs. And while this is important aesthetically, it also adds to the portability and convenience of the product. For a little extra you can get a Brydge with integrated stereo speakers. These speakers provide better sound quality and more volume than the one installed in the iPad.
Still in development, the Brydge is being offered through Kickstarter, a crowd funding website that provides capitol for creative projects. Founded in 2008, Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors, ranging from indie films, music and comics to journalism, video games, and food-related projects. Project owners choose a deadline and a target minimum of funds that need to be raised.
Since posting on Kickstarter, Brad, Eddie and Sam have received over 1800 pledges which total more than $400,000.00 – far beyond their original goal of $90,000.00. If you’re interested in getting in on the action, they’re accepting pledges until June 4, 2012. Those who pledge between 150.00 and 175.00 will receive a Brydge without speakers; those who bid 180.00 or more will get the model with speakers. Shipping is estimated to begin in October 2012.
With its unique design and quality construction, the Brydge stands apart from other iPad cases and keyboards. Brydge allows you to use your iPad in ways you never could before, giving it the functionality and protection of a Macbook Air, while retaining the style and portability of your iPad. If you’re looking for a way to protect your iPad while making it function more like a laptop, the Brydge may be just what you’re looking for. And judging by the incredible response the product has gotten on Kickstarter, you’re not alone.
This is a Guest Post from Jim Odell who is a content specialist working for ScreenTek iPad and loves to write about upcoming technologies and the latest Apple gadgets.