NFC, or near-field communications, is often synonymous with wireless mobile payments, but it still hasn’t made much headway as most consumers and retailers haven’t yet transitioned to wireless payments. That doesn’t mean NFC is a dead technology however. Now, the Japanese electronics firm Elecom has launched the world’s first NFC mobile keyboard.
The NFC-enabled portable keyboard is designed to work with Android smartphones – a gadget which could appeal to time-starved, fat fingered mobile workers. The design was collaborated with Norwegian firm One2Touch. It is similar in layout to a regular PC keyboard except with a space in the middle to place the smartphone.
The 34cm, 45-key keyboard is made out of silicone, which means it can be folded away into a neat little carrying case. After initial software installation and configuration, all the user needs to do is place their NFC-enabled Android device onto the space in the keyboard and start typing, according to Elecom.
However, there is a major draw back of the keyboard. The device will feature a built-in battery that apparently cannot be removed or charged which means that most in a year and a half (according to use every day is 8 hours) after use, it became a waste and the user is forced to buy a replacement keyboard.
Elecom said the keyboard is shipping soon in Japan for 18,690 Yen, which works out to a whopping $238.75 U.S - particularly high when one remembers the battery situation.