If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of physical keyboards. There’s something so pleasing about tapping away on tactile keys, and it’s a pleasure you just don’t get with a virtual QWERTY, even one as good as the iPhone’s.

For that very reason, I still sometimes carry around my Bold 9700. I’ve longed for an iPhone with a physical keyboard since its introduction 5 years ago, despite knowing that Apple will never release it.

There have been various solutions on the market for some time, but generally all of them require Bluetooth connectivity (battery drain) and often times they’re packed in to a chunky, unattractive case.

The Spike – by father and son team, Cody and Robert Solomon – approaches the problem from a different angle. Instead of having one large landscape keyboard that slides underneath your iPhone, they created one that flips over your display and uses inductive pads to press the right onscreen keys.

That means that it’s in portrait, and that there’s no extra battery drain. The keyboard looks virtually identical to the BlackBerry Bold’s, meaning it’ll easily be the most usable keyboard/case for iPhone yet.

The project hit KickStarter fairly recently and still has 33 days to go. It’s already raised almost $40,000 out of the $75k goal. You can ensure you’re one of the first to get one by pledging a minimum of $20. The cases – available in two varieties – will retail at $35 and $60 for the basic and premium models respectively.

I – for one – can’t wait to get my hands on one.

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