If you're not sold on the Flos × Starck combination dock + lamp, here's a wireless keyboard that matches both your tablet and your lamp (well, almost): independent designer James Stumpf is less than $1000 (as of press time) of making a so-called "levitating" keyboard a reality; his Kickstarter campaign for the "Levitatr" bluetooth keyboard for "iPads, iPhones, iPods and other devices."
The seamless renderings—if not the (not yet finalized) prototypes themselves—look something like longer, skinnier speculative tablets; specifically, the iPad. Indeed, Stumpf's keyboard is "designed around a singular chassis cast in aluminum and precision-machined to its final form"—i.e. a unibody—with high-gloss, injection-molded polycarbonate plastic surfaces, including the keys themselves.Low-profile scissor switches are used for key actuation. This gives the keyboard swift key actuation and response. Control your basic iPad functions with five hot keys intergrated into Levitatr. Levitatr is powered by a rechargeable built-in Lithium-ion battery.
And while there's no Mag-Lev involved, at least "the ALUMNM kickstand latches into its resting position via high-powered magnets."I've never used an outboard keyboard with a tablet (and nor have I listened to Michael Bolton), so I can't speak to some of Stumpf's gripes with existing keyboards. Still, I'm curious as to whether (as per the description of the "Levitatr") "having a keyboard with keys that lower into the face of the keyboard while not in use keeps junk/food/crud out of the cracks of your keyboard."
With it's sleek obsidian sheen, the Levitatr is essentially the inverse of Michael Roopenian's "Engrain" tactile keyboard, addressing the same problem with the opposite approach. Where Roopenian rejected the material entirely, Stumpf has opted to enhance the smooth-surface aesthetic with a layer of tactile responsiveness.
In fact, Stumpf is rather more ambitious than the average Apple-peripheral Kickstartee, insisting that the "Levitatr" not only "looks pretty cool, right?" but also suggesting that his product represents a step towards the future of touchscreen design across the industry: "Once shipped to backers, the ultimate goal is to get the Levitatr keyboard directly integrated into a manufacturer's tablet."
Still, I can't help but wonder if an elevated plastic keyboard that merely resembles a high-end glass touchscreen could be adapted to actually function as a seamless high-end glass touchscreen—I suspect there's quite a bit of tech wizardry that would go into incorporating actuators into a touchscreen. Believers can show their support at Kickstarter, or learn more at the Levitatr website.