ION Audio, the manufacturer of popular gadgets like errr.... USB Turntables and other audio devices, is planning to launch a series of iPhone accessories that could possibly attract quite a few eyeballs.
It showcased a standard QWERTY keyboard at CES2010, which carries a price of $100 and is expected to come in the second quarter of this year.
The device, aptly named the iType, allows the user to transform their iPhone or iPod Touch into an ultra-portable computer and looks a lot like the ZX88 of yesteryear.
One issue though that we could not fail to notie is that the iPhone keyboard appears to pop up when slotted in the keyboard, effectively rendering half of the screen surface kind of useless (you don't need a physical AND a virtual keyboard at the same time).
The ION managing director Gregg Stein said in a statement that "iType converts iPhone into the first truly complete travel-computing solution."
The iType comes with its own battery and could potentially charge the iPhone or the iPod Touch. We think however that it doesn't go further. Come on ION Audio, we want an iType that comes with a 13.3-inch HD-ready LCD monitor and can use the iPhone as a touchpad, like Hipporemote.
Why not think even further and think of it as a complete HTPC solution that can beam data, via a solution similar to Intel's Wireless Display, to your 50-inch plasma screen.
Very interesting solution which only scratches the surface of what's possible with the new generation of smartphones. We'd like to see whether ION audio plans to launch universal versions for the likes of the Nexus One or the Blackberry Storm.