BlackBerry Forums Support Community

BlackBerry Forums Support Community (
-   Bluetooth Connection (
-   -   Bluetooth Folding Keyboard - Now Becoming Possible! [Preorder] (

Mark Rejhon 08-31-2004 05:13 PM

Bluetooth Folding Keyboard - Now Becoming Possible! [Preorder]

EDIT: As of May 2005, a Bluetooth keyboard model from a competitor is now available for preorder here. One of the sponsors of this site will probably be carrying this model as well, keep tuned.

Now that Bluetooth keyboard has become available by a competitor for BlackBerry, let's help ThinkOutside consider writing a Bluetooth driver.

To help things, please post replies in these threads at ThinkOutside's forums:

If you want a ThinkOutside Bluetooth keyboard, go click and post a reply at these links!
Check out Bluetooth Stowaway XT.

CC: ThinkOutside Partners [email address]
CC: RIM Suggestions Box [email address]
[email address]
[email address]

(There is the Bluetooth version of this exact same keyboard of exact same model)

This is the world's smallest touchtypeable Bluetooth keyboard, full size 19 millimeter keys, and works well with iPaq's and some models of cellphones (Symbian). I am considering getting this for use with my iPaq and laptop, as well as home use, since I can reuse this keyboard on several of my existing Bluetooth enabled devices. It would be nice if I could use it with the upcoming 7290 too!

I am hoping that RIM will permit the Bluetooth in the 7290 to work with other accessories such as this one. If RIM reads this, please make sure that it's technically possible/easy for ThinkOutside to write a Bluetooth Blackberry 7290 driver, perhaps with the help of RIM.

I should add, that ThinkOutside made a keyboard for older 85X/95X units, but that was during the days when there were only 20,000 to 50,000 Blackberries. I would like to note to ThinkOutside that Blackberries now sell over 1,000,000 annually now, which means a much bigger market. I am just noting this, to prevent discouragement that ThinkOutside might have had because the small market of 85X/95X likely prevented ThinkOutside from considering making a keyboard for Blackberry model 6210. Since the Bluetooth keyboard now exists, this is now likely just a simple matter of a software driver that both RIM and ThinkOutside needs to collaborate on!

I own a Stowaway XT (non-Bluetooth) and they are pretty handy for the occasoinal need for a full size keyboard for longer messages on my iPaq. But as I now use my Blackberry, and even though I can thumbtouchtype very fast, I can type on a full size keyboard even faster.

This is useful for the occasional super-long email (5,000 character plus league) that's a bit of a chore on a thumb keyboard. Thumb keyboards are amazing for all the short stuff though! It's just nice to occasoinally whip out a full size keyboard without bringing around a laptop! Definitely, I prefer the thumb keyboard for most short message stuff, but a full size keyboard is handy for the large marathon emails!

Numerous inquiries have continually popped up from time to time about whether it is possible to attach a keyboard to the Blackberry, so there is evidently demand out there (and much more so today!).

Blackberry 7290 already has Bluetooth, AND a Bluetooth keyboard exist. So, this may even just entail a mere few hours of software development work, and reap dividends in goodwill by users of both companies, and push more units of sales for both companies. Also gives people more reason to upgrade to the Blackberry 7290 too rather than making do with existing Blackberries too, as I am not interested in Bluetooth headsets but would be in the full size keyboard.

I encourage RIM and ThinkOutside to collaborate to make sure that developments are made to make sure the Bluetooth keyboard functions on the Blackberry. A copy of this message was sent to ThinkOutside Partners <partners(at)> and to the RIM Suggestions Box <bbsuggestons(at)>. Perhaps you two might be busy with other products but you two might as well start contacting each other and investigating the feasibility of at least a simple Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard driver reasonably early in the product life of the Bluetooth Blackberry 7290!

There are other Bluetooth keyboards, but this is the most portable one because it fits comfortably in my pocket (I have the iPaq version of this exact same keyboard) and I can touchtype just as fast on it as a laptop, since the keys are full size 19mm key pitch.

Mark Rejhon 08-31-2004 10:50 PM

To other people reading this thread, please post your message indicating your interest in this keyboard.

Remember: You can reuse this keyboard on multiple Bluetooth compatible devices, including an iPaq, a Symbian phone, or even a plain laptop/desktop Bluetooth dongle to use as a cordless keyboard to use from a sofa too (for living room media computers, jukebox remote control, etc). The addition of 7290 support would no doubt cause extra further interest in this tiny keyboard.

Keyboard review #1
Keyboard Review #2

This keyboard fully implements the Bluetooth HID profile (generic keyboard protocol); so all RIM would need need is to write a standardized Bluetooth HID keyboard driver. Since this is a plain vanilla protocol, it is worth investigating if this is something simple that can be done in one night by a single computer programmer to make it work wth the 7290!

kirson 09-01-2004 04:51 AM

I would be extremely interested in such a keyboard.

Mark, do you know if this keyboard has a Bluetooth for non-Bluetooth variation? You know, something like the BT200 by Jabra, with a BT dongle. Or is this a goofy idea, as the only place the dongle could attach is the headphone jack?


Mark Rejhon 09-01-2004 02:59 PM

Dunlop on RIMROAD says:

Originally Posted by Dunlop
BT enabled accessories are compatible with the upcomming models. More information will be posted on blackberry website. Please check back soon for updates.

However, in the meantime until this is definitively confirmed, please feel free to post a reply saying that you're interested in using an external keyboard with the Blackberry!

d123456 09-02-2004 07:04 PM

i would love to have a keyboard that i could attach to my blackberry. please RIM allow this to happen!!!!



Mark Rejhon 09-08-2004 04:37 PM

The BlackBerry Charm (model 7100t) has now been announced with BlueTooth. This is yet another BlackBerry handheld that would benefit from the use of this keyboard!

kirson 09-08-2004 04:43 PM


I read that the 7100t bluetooth will work with headset and car kits. Does this mean that it will ONLY support headset and car kits, or is it likely that it will automatically support devices such as this keyboard?

Mark Rejhon 09-08-2004 06:29 PM

That's what I am trying to find out, and worrying about. And whether if it is already supported or not? It should be a simple matter as a software driver (generic Bluetooth HID keyboards) to support keyboards.

Some people may say it is security concerns of tapping into wireless signals. But there should be absolutely no security differences between headsets and keyboards (It's simply wireless sound versus wireless keypresses, encrypted equally in the same way with BlueTooth) and meaning, no reason for RIM not to support Bluetooth keyboards;

It is wonderfully convenient for those occasional marathon mammoth-sized emails, and provides yet another reason to leave that laptop behind. :D

kirson 09-08-2004 06:51 PM

Combined with the greater amount of memory on the 7100, this could actually replace my laptop on many trips.

Mark Rejhon 09-08-2004 07:12 PM

Yep, there are advantages:
  • Use for those occasional marathon emails that need more than the thumb keyboard;
  • Create Word and Excel documents directly on BlackBerry using eOffice software;
  • Pocketable; keyboard folds to same size as a BlackBerry when folded;
  • Spontaneous; it's optional; you can use it only when you feel like a bigger keyboard that can be touchtyped on;
  • Another reason to leave laptop behind;

Skive 09-08-2004 09:27 PM


Originally Posted by kirson
I read that the 7100t bluetooth will work with headset and car kits. Does this mean that it will ONLY support headset and car kits, or is it likely that it will automatically support devices such as this keyboard?

It means that with the initial release of the bt-enabled blackberries they will only support headsets, who can tell what they will support in the future, but personally i'd expect support for modem via bt before something like this, it doesn't expect anyone to buy a 3rd party peripheral and al their customers will already have that modem.

Mark Rejhon 09-08-2004 09:30 PM

True. But different markets for different people. And different tools for different moments. An insider at my carrier thinks it's a good idea. Perhaps it may not be there initially, but be introduced a little bit later on. Hopefully as a mere software upgrade, or at the minimum, considreation in the manufacture of future models.

I am making sure RIM and ThinkOutside are talking to each other. Or at least make them THINK about it. :D

Skive 09-08-2004 09:40 PM

I don't doubt that they will get something out eventually, I just wouldn't expect support for any new hardware before 4.1 (or whatever the first service release gets called) and that the modem will definitely be one of the first things to get supported.

In reality, you'd expect something like a keyboard driver to get included at some point as well though, it'll be interesting to see what else gets added in time, aren't there some printers that also support bluetooth out there?

Mark Rejhon 09-08-2004 09:52 PM

There are stability considerations too. They don't want the Bluetooth Berries to be like a bloated 7750. I'm sure that waiting till 4.1 is probably a prudent move to shake out 4.0 first in the market. I'm making sure they didn't forget about the possibility of keyboards!

Right tool for the moment -- I'll expand on that. It also relates personally, since I am deaf, and keyboards are the main method of communication. I still often carry around my iPaq sometimes only just because of compatibility of full size keyboard. If I carry around the laptop, I don't need the folding keyboard, but when I go to restaurants and such, and talk to my significant other, or something, I find communication to be faster on a full size keyboard than spoken speech which must be worded carefully and spoken slowly. And it's hard for me to lipread others. (I type faster than I can speak clearly -- 132 WPM with 97% accuracy in a recent test at Huckleberry Finn 1-minute test paragraph). So if I am doing business travel or travelling on the train between cities, I will bring the laptop. (And that is where BlackberryModem comes in). But if I am socializing with friends or significant other, then I use my iPaq with the folding keyboard to type back and fourth. I can put iPaq in left pocket and keyboard in right pocket. Complete discreet concealment cannot be done with a laptop. More information on my hearing impairment at the site. Anyway, now you know what I mean about the right tool for the right moment. Most will just stick to one (ie laptop) and desire BlackBerryModem, while others prefer leaving laptop behind and just bringing a PDA and keyboard (ie ThinkOutside folding keyboard). A select few would use both for the right tool at the right moment (like me).

Badgermac 09-09-2004 04:25 AM

A fullsize or larger keyboard would be fantasic!

Mark Rejhon 09-16-2004 07:13 PM

Someone mentioned a company working on a Bluetooth GPS navigation system (using an external Bluetooth GPS) for the 7100 series. If this is true, this may indicate that RIM is planning to allow BlackBerries to work with third-party Bluetooth accessories. Perhaps only supporting headsets in the OS, but allowing third parties to develop support for third party Bluetooth accessories?

Can anyone clarify RIM's plans for allowing third party support of Bluetooth peripherals such as keyboards and external GPS units?

Skive 09-16-2004 07:25 PM


Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
Can anyone clarify RIM's plans for allowing third party support of Bluetooth peripherals such as keyboards and external GPS units?

RIM :)

Mark Rejhon 09-24-2004 04:22 AM

Nokia is bragging about support for Bluetooth keyboards now:

I would urge RIM to consider support as soon as pratically possible for folding Bluetooth keyboards!!! :) Now that the 7100t competes directly against similiar cellphones...

cyberhh 09-27-2004 05:47 PM

I would love to see this supported on the blackberry, however RIM has expressed concerns over the security holes in the bluetooth protocol and as such has descided to make the device only work with headsets. For those of you who do not know a group of "hackers" as a proof of concept were able to hack a bluetooth phone from over 2km without using any information on the phone at all, just from the exploits found in bluetooth.

When your phone has the ability to be hijaaked remotely we have a problem, but when your enterprise tool can be hijaaked from over a mile away we have a HUGE security issue and since RIM is after the enterprise customer (a very security minded group - at least on paper) they need to cater to their wishes.

Mark Rejhon 09-27-2004 06:49 PM

Yes, GOOD REASON BUT what's the security difference between bluejacking a headset versus bluejacking a keyboard? (i.e. equally difficult) Don't they have the same strong encryption now available?

Is there something about Bluetooth I don't know that reveals a security difference between a headset and a keyboard?

Isn't bluejacking a concern mainly only for addressbooks? You don't need to enable the addressbook to safely enable keyboard support...
RIM can just keep bluetooth addressbook permanently disabled;

Also, the BlackBerry technically supports Bluetooth keyboards -- it's just a software upgrade --just see this Bluetooth.Org webpage saying serial profiles are supported, required by bluetooth keyboards...

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:03 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.