World's thinnest keyboard unveiled by British firm CSR

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 4:13am


The company behind the wireless Beats headphones and Nike Running gadget has unveiled the world's thinnest keyboard - a flexible, wireless touch screen device that is just half a millimetre thick.

That is about as thick as five sheets of printer paper.

CSR, based in the English university city of Cambridge, and which specialises in wireless technology, showed a prototype of the product at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, but it will be 12 months before it will be available to buy.

Paul Williamson, CSR's director of low-power wireless products, said the final form factor depended on how manufacturers bring the keyboard to market, although its primary use is likely to be as a lightweight, complementary external keyboard for tablet devices. "This is a working prototype and a glimpse forward rather than something people will be buying this year," he said.

"We might see lots of shapes and sizes, some as small as iPad Mini or a larger, more rigid form for a desktop PC, which could be curved, in any colour way, transparent or fitted with a leather folio."

Developed in partnership with Cambridge Inkjet Technology, the interface for the product is printed out and can be customised. That could mean printing bespoke keyboards in different languages with ease, or customised keyboards for functions such as video editing and for customers who would like personalised patterns or messages on their own keyboard.

The keyboard's touch screen could also be used under a piece of paper to transcribe notes made with a pen and sync them to a computer.

Founded in 1999, CSR is one of a cluster of successful, research-focused technology companies clustered around Cambridge and "Silicon Fen".