Go to any electronic store, in person or online, and you will find a dozen of different iPad cases and keyboards. Some are good, while others aren’t worth the packaging they came in. One that finally started shipping this month, however, is not only worth its production value, Social Media and Crowd Funding helped create it.The product is called The Brydge and it is exactly what it says it is. It is the first iPad keyboard that I have seen that successfully bridges the gap between having an iPad and a laptop. From its machined aluminum body to its clamp / hinge that holds like a Darth Vader’s Choke Hold, this keyboard is what we, in Canada, call one Skookum Piece of Kit!
Getting it KickStarted
What is truly remarkable about this product is how it came to life. Two young college buddies, Brad Leong and Sam Gordon, decided to create a remarkable gadget, featuring quality and functionality. The world is full of people with great ideas for products, but how to pay to make those ideas reality? Well, these two hit the crowd funding site Kickstarter.com with their product and, boy, did it ever kick start their idea! When the clock hit zero in June 2012, 3,266 investors helped raise almost $800,000 to build and ship their product, over 700% more than their target.
The Apple of my Eye
While the functionality of the Brydge keyboard is what makes people the most happy about the product, the aesthetics of it play a big part of it, too. This keyboard looks like it was designed and produced by Apple. The anodized aluminum makes it look like it is a natural part of the iPad and, when you open or close it, you would swear you were looking at a MacBook Air. The hinge gives you your choice of viewing angles, eliminating the need to “prop up” your iPad in some way or another. Built in speakers enhance sound and a full Qwerty keyboard rounds out the Apple look and feel. While a bit on the pricey side (between $150 to $220, depending on the version you choose) the functionality alone makes the value shine through.
The company continues to innovate, too. They are currently looking to improve the speakers for even better sound and now offer a less-expensive polycarbonate version, with all the same features. This is definitely one Brydge worth crossing!