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[March 12, 2002]

Logitech Debuts All-In-One Case And Keyboard For PDAs

Logitech announced a wraparound fabric keyboard that offers input control and lightweight convenience for Palm handhelds. The Logitech KeyCase uses ElekTex, a sturdy electronic fabric that offers a low-profile keyboard which wraps around the handheld when not in use to protect it from life on the road.

KeyCase frees users from stylus operation with an on-screen button and dedicated function keys for quick access to frequently used Palm functions as well as select, cut, copy, and paste buttons. A pressure-sensitive scroller provides for effortless navigation of menus and long documents. The unit is instantly ready for data input by means of a SmartMotion Cradle. With the handheld secured in place, users simply prop up the cradle into typing position and the entire system is on and ready. Featuring U.S., French and German layouts, the KeyCase will be available in the US and Europe in early April.

"This is a unique product," said Denis Pavillard, director of marketing for keyboards and desktops at Logitech. "The strong water-resistant textile case provides protection for the PDA when traveling. Then the case opens to be a fabric keyboard that is designed to help you get the most out of your PDA.

"KeyCase underscores Logitech's broader commitment to the mobile computing environment by making use of an innovative technology to provide greater convenience on the road. The all-in-one case and keyboard is a rare combination of two very useful products combined to address the specific needs of the traveling business person."

The Logitech KeyCase keyboard is compatible with Palm OS 4.1 and Palm OS 4.0 for the Palm m125, Palm m500, Palm m505, Palm i705 and future handhelds with the Palm Universal Connector. The Logitech software, to configure the Palm for the keyboard, is compatible with the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 95 Windows 98, Windows Me and Windows XP. The application is also compatible with Macintosh OS. The keyboard ships with a free trial version of the popular Palm OS based word processor, WordSmith.

The ElekTex fabric used in the Logitech KeyCase is based on electronic fabric technology that provides the basis for a soft, flexible, and lightweight interface between users and electronic devices. This unique fabric structure can accurately sense location on three axes - X, Y, Z - where the Z-axis is the amount of pressure applied to the 1mm thick material. ElekTex senses where the fabric is being pressed (the X- and Y-axes), and how hard, via the Z-axis. The precise electrical measurements are then translated into digital signals, which control the electronic device. This flexibility and the ability to measure the amount of applied pressure are major advantages of ElekTex over previous touch technologies, such as touch pads. Products created with ElekTex benefit in terms of being flexible, lightweight, durable and resilient. ElekTex is developed and licensed by UK-based ElekSen.

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