In a press release early this morning, Korean tech giant LG announced that it wants to grab a bigger share of the mobile accessories market. It wants to do so with Rolly Keyboard, a wireless, portable, rollable universal keyboard. Opened, it forms a four-row keyboard with close-to full size keys. What makes the keyboard unique is the method by which it’s stowed. Unlike the traditional single fold down the middle, each row of keys has a hinge, enabling the user to roll it up in to a ‘stick’.
Rolly Keyboard is powered by a single AAA battery and uses two Bluetooth 3.0 channels to pair to two separate devices and enable easy-switching between them, similar to the Microsoft Foldable Keyboard we reviewed recently. What’s more, it also features two arms to hold smartphones or tablets upright. It’s made from polycarbonate and black ABS plastic and LG claims it “offers satisfying tactile feedback often not found on flexible silicone keyboards”. Judging from the selection of keys on the device, it seems it’s going to be compatible with multiple platforms. Instead of offering a separate row for extra function keys for tasks like media playback, volume etc. LG has opted to use an individual ‘Fn’ key which — when pressed with a labelled key — will allow users to skip tracks, play/pause, change volume, pair devices and much more. And it won’t be alone on the accessory market his year:
“LG Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings,” said Seo Young-jae, vice president in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn’t been explored before.”
LG will show off its Rolly Keyboard at IFA in Berlin at the beginning of next month and launch in the U.S. in September. Pricing and availability details will be shared once it’s available to consumers. Along with the keyboard, LG is expected to announce a range of new Android-powered G Pad tablets in an attempt to compete directly with Samsung.