Israel Startup Adds Display to Keyboards for Struggling Typists

KeyView, an Israeli startup company, plans to introduce a computer keyboard with a built-in display, allowing poor typists to view what they have typed without having to look up at the monitor.

The so-called smartype device has a strip at the top that shows what letters and words have been typed and enabling the user to keep looking at the keyboard.

KeyView was set up by Dov Moran, the founder and former chief executive of M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd., which was acquired by SanDisk Corp. in 2006 for about $1.3 billion.

“This is an Israeli consumer product that we hope will reach millions of users,” Moran said at the product’s introduction today in Tel Aviv. Consumers find the use of existing keyboards “mediocre.”

The majority of people do not touch-type and suffer from loss of time and typing errors, according to KeyView. Regular keyboards can cause neck and eye strain, as a result of splitting the visual focus between the keyboard and the screen. The patented product helps minimize typing errors and can also be used for various applications such as e-mail notification, time, photos and weather, the company said.

In Stores

The product will be sold to consumers in Israeli stores starting this week at 399 shekels ($99), and will be shipped to overseas markets later this year, Moran said. KeyView said it has had talks with Best Buy Co. and Dixons Retail Plc about selling the keyboard.

“We have had enthusiastic responses to the product,” Moran said.

KeyView, based in Moshav Yarkona in central Israel, has 10 employees and has raised several million dollars from private investors, Moran said.

Another startup of Moran’s, Modu Ltd., which offered the world’s smallest mobile phone, was unsuccessful because of the investments required and the high amount of regulation and number of operators involved in the field, Moran said.

“This company is smaller, more modest, less people,” he said. “In many of the things we do, you need to fall and then get up again. This is part of the industry.”

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