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InDemand
Keyboard Mod: A Physical Keyboard For The Moto Z
The Keyboard Mod adds a sliding and tilting 5-row physical keyboard to your Moto Z.
Liangchen Chen
London, United Kingdom
+
Arrow Electronics
Incubation
Learn more
$147,296 USD total funds raised
115% funded on May 3, 2017
Overview
Have you been waiting for a high-end landscape slider with modern specs? The Keyboard Mod uses the Moto Mods platform to turn your Moto Z into a five-row landscape QWERTY slider with comfortable, backlit keys, just like in the old days... So what are you waiting for? Join us today!

 

Shipping date of the first batch of product has been moved to September.

 

Media Coverage

"People are in love with this keyboard. It is the most funded project [in Motorola's Transform the Smartphone Challenge], in fact." -- Motorola Fans, Felipe Berhau
"...the accessory that makes me go back to the Moto Z" -- 9 to 5 Google, Justin Duino
"...reminiscent of the old DROID phones... or the old HTC Tilt phones." -- phonedog, Alex Wagner 
"the 'old school' feel of having a personal digital assistant (PDA) again." -- Android Community, John Hoff
"An Indiegogo Moto Mod wants to bring back the physical keyboard in a big way" -- Digital Trends, Adam Ismail
"Oh, snap! It's like the Tilt 3 that never was... I'd rock this." -- Taylor Martin (@caspertek), writer for CNET
 

Product Introduction

 

The landscape QWERTY physical keyboard disappeared from the smartphone market almost five years ago. No high-end landscape slider has been manufactured since 2012.

Many messaging users, tech enthusiasts, hackers, researchers, developers, and IT professionals have been longing for a successor.

With the Keyboard Mod, the wait is now over.

 

The Device (Updated with Prototype Images)

The Keyboard Mod features a 5-row landscape QWERTY keyboard that slides out and tilts between 0 and 45 degrees. We’re also considering including a battery to extend the phone’s battery life.* With the Keyboard Mod, your Moto Z transforms into a productive mini PC!

 

Keyboard Layout

We've carefully designed the keyboard layout to maximize productivity and convenience for a variety of users. The Keyboard Mod features:

  • A separate number row
  • Larger common keys
  • Android navigation buttons 
  • Almost all commonly used symbols
  • Arrow keys
  • Custom keys
  • Shortcuts for different utilities

The non-QWERTY layout will be manufactured after we ship the initial QWERTY layout.

For AZERTY, QWERTZ and Scandic Layout users, please refer to the Non-QWERTY layout perks.

Update July 2017: Due to the low demand of AZERTY and Scandic layout, only QWERTZ in black will be produced.

 

Keyboard Characteristics

We care about the comfort of your typing experience. As such, we designed a keyboard with:

  • Extra key travel
  • LED backlight
  • Curved surfaces

We'll perform a variety of tests under different scenarios to make sure the Keyboard Mod delivers the best typing experience. The individual keys are designed to handle more than 200,000 presses without issues.

 

Sliding Mechanism

We're using Teflon™ coating for the sliding track, which ensures a smooth and durable mechanism. 

The sliding frame is designed to provide 100,000 complete slides during its lifespan.

Above is our very first prototype sliding mechanism, with the hinges installed. It will be used in our first demo device.

Today, we're working with Motorola to improve the overall structural design. We'll share more details once everything is 100% confirmed.

Update: We have already made the first prototype. More pictures attached below.

Colours

We offer 3 colours to match your phone: Black, White and Gold. Black will be the only option for the super early bird perk, and all three colours will be available for the early bird perk. *

Don't think 3 colours are enough? We'll have a special edition that will only be available on Indiegogo, and won't be manufactured again - the "Livermorium Starter Edition"

We're aware of the importance of having a physical keyboard on our phones. And so do you. By purchasing the Limited Edition, you'll show your support and own a "once in a life-time" product, which will never be available again after this campaign.

*If a colour's demand is below the minimum quantity required for manufacturing, a black device will be shipped instead.

Update July 2017: Colour option will be only available for QWERTY layout at the moment. 

 

Development Progress and Timeline

For product development, Livermorium teamed up with top-level engineers and designers. You'll find our team details below.

So far we've finished the model design and verified all technical aspects. We've also validated the structural design using simulation software, and worked with our component supplier for feasibility analysis. Here are some images of the model design work we've been doing.

 

The next step is to build a prototype with the enclosure and the sliding mechanism. We can't use the Moto MDK since we can't add moving parts. We're in discussions with Motorola to get the key documents and components required -- such as the metal connectors and magnetic parts -- in order to build a real working sample. We're planning to be finished prototyping later this month (March), and we'll share results and progress here on a regular basis! (Update: We have build our first prototype! Pictures are shown below)

Then comes the tooling stage. We need your support to fund the best molds and tooling for the enclosure, keyboard, and sliding frame. A sliding keyboard has many more moving parts and is far more complicated than an ordinary "one piece" device. We need your financial support to make sure that the product is not compromised.

Update July 2017:

- The tooling is set to be finished by mid-July

- DVT samples estimated to be made in the week of 17th July

- MP and shipping will start at August

When the tooling is finished, we will build testing samples to verify that everything works as it should, and we'll apply for various certifications -- such as FCC, CE, RoHS, and UL -- to provide a safe device that's legal to sell. This also requires your financial support.

Finally we'll use the funds to reserve the essential material and components needed to build quality devices, and get them assembled in one of Foxconn's factories. We will also need your support to pay for the production line and labour, as well as quality control.

We'll do our absolute best to deliver the Keyboard Mod in the July/August timeframe! 

Here is some pictures of the very first engineering prototype. Please note that merely an engineering sample and improvements will continue to be made, such as a better finish.

 

Cost Summary

Building a physical sliding keyboard involves a lot of engineering and slightly higher upfront cost, since it requires more moving parts and uses a more complex design than other products. To sum things up, funds will be used:

  • To buy the best molds and tooling for the enclosure, slider frame, and keyboard.
  • To passing various certifications and safety tests.
  • To buy materials and components for the device.
  • To rent the assembly line and pay for labour and quality control.
  • For a few other items, such as taxes, material handling and transportation, etc...

 

The Team

Making this device isn't one person's job. We have a talented and experienced team on board to deliver the highest quality product possible.

Liangchen - Msci from Imperial College London, Bsci from University College London. Currently working in the technology manufacturing industry. Liangchen started to use landscape sliders in 2007, from the Nokia N810 to the N950. He's been missing the physical keyboard in recent years, and when he saw the Moto Mod Challenge he asked himself - "If the market doesn't have one, why don't we make one for ourselves?"

Michael - EMBA University of Zhejiang. Michael is an entrepreneur and a veteran in Consumer and Industrial Device manufacturing Industry. For 23 years, Michael has been designing, manufacturing  and launching countless successful products with his team. Michael's principle is: "Never make cheap, useless devices. Only build the best."

Anna - Anna has spent the past 15 years in the manufacturing industry and helps Michael manage several international businesses. 

Duke - Duke is a senior product manager with 10 years of experience. He'll handle every aspects of the project to make sure everything is going as planned.

Oxbo - Oxbo is one of our heroes. He serves as a senior structural and mechanical engineer and has 13 years of experience, which means he's designed sliders and other form-factors before familiar metal and glass slap took over the entire market. He's excited and confident about this challenge.

Peter - Peter is our make-up artist here... Sorry senior ID Engineer. He's turned a lot of boring structures into beautiful looking products in the past 13 years, including this one.

Lily - Lily has worked for 10 years as a product manager and will also take care of this project. She’s a talented wrangler and our campaign needs her support.

Bruce - Bruce has served for 11 years as a senior hardware engineer. Like Oxbo, he has past experience with physical keyboard design. His recent work was officially chosen by Microsoft as one of the official partner devices.

Rita - Rita is our senior supply chain manager. She will take care of all the logistics, and your device will be shipped by her and her team.

Perks
$80
USD
+ Shipping
Early Bird
1 x Physical Keyboard Mod (Retail Price $120) in QWERTY layout, can be chosen from any of 3 colours (Gold, White, Black). Will dispatch after shipping Super Early Bird perks.
Items included:
  • Physical Keyboard Mod
208 out of 5000 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated July 2017
Estimated July 2017
Get this perk
$80
USD
+ Shipping
Early Bird Other Layout
Early Bird Option for QWERTZ, AZERTY and Scandic users. Delivery will be 1-2 months after shipping Early Birds QWERTY Layout.
Items included:
  • Non-QWERTY Keyboard Mod
47 out of 5000 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated August 2017
Estimated August 2017
Get this perk
$200
USD
+ Shipping
Livermorium Starter Edition
The Limited "Starter Edition" with Livermorium Special Colour will be only available once at this campaign and will never be re-produced. This perk will not only grant you a once in a life time product, but also gives you priority for future products. We appreciate your supporting for our effort on bringing QWERTY back to market.
Items included:
  • Livermorium Starter Edition
26 out of 1500 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated July 2017
Estimated July 2017
Get this perk
$500
USD
Donation
If you appreciate the idea and effort bringing QWERTY devices back to the market, please support us by donating for future project. (Yes we do have bigger ideas following.) We will reward you with a laser engraved "starter" version with the phrase or logo you want to put. We will also share the future development progress and insights with you.
Items included:
  • Laser Engraved Keyboard Mod
0 out of 100 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated July 2017
Estimated July 2017
Get this perk
$600
USD
+ Shipping
Retailer Bulk Order X10
Retailer order of X10 Keyboard Mods in QWERTY Layout. Can choose from any of the 3 colours. Will be shipped same time with Early Bird Perk.
Items included:
  • Physical Keyboard Mod (10)
3 out of 500 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated July 2017
Estimated July 2017
Get this perk
$600
USD
+ Shipping
Retail Bulk Order Other Layout
Bulk Order for QWERTZ, AZERTY and Scandic users. The delivery will be 1-2 months after shipping Early Birds of QWERTY Layout.
Items included:
  • Non-QWERTY Keyboard Mod (10)
0 out of 500 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated August 2017
Estimated August 2017
Get this perk
Overview
Have you been waiting for a high-end landscape slider with modern specs? The Keyboard Mod uses the Moto Mods platform to turn your Moto Z into a five-row landscape QWERTY slider with comfortable, backlit keys, just like in the old days... So what are you waiting for? Join us today!
Perks
$80
USD
+ Shipping
Early Bird
1 x Physical Keyboard Mod (Retail Price $120) in QWERTY layout, can be chosen from any of 3 colours (Gold, White, Black). Will dispatch after shipping Super Early Bird perks.
Items included:
  • Physical Keyboard Mod
208 out of 5000 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated July 2017
Estimated July 2017
Get this perk
$80
USD
+ Shipping
Early Bird Other Layout
Early Bird Option for QWERTZ, AZERTY and Scandic users. Delivery will be 1-2 months after shipping Early Birds QWERTY Layout.
Items included:
  • Non-QWERTY Keyboard Mod
47 out of 5000 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated August 2017
Estimated August 2017
Get this perk
$200
USD
+ Shipping
Livermorium Starter Edition
The Limited "Starter Edition" with Livermorium Special Colour will be only available once at this campaign and will never be re-produced. This perk will not only grant you a once in a life time product, but also gives you priority for future products. We appreciate your supporting for our effort on bringing QWERTY back to market.
Items included:
  • Livermorium Starter Edition
26 out of 1500 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated July 2017
Estimated July 2017
Get this perk
$500
USD
Donation
If you appreciate the idea and effort bringing QWERTY devices back to the market, please support us by donating for future project. (Yes we do have bigger ideas following.) We will reward you with a laser engraved "starter" version with the phrase or logo you want to put. We will also share the future development progress and insights with you.
Items included:
  • Laser Engraved Keyboard Mod
0 out of 100 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated July 2017
Estimated July 2017
Get this perk
$600
USD
+ Shipping
Retailer Bulk Order X10
Retailer order of X10 Keyboard Mods in QWERTY Layout. Can choose from any of the 3 colours. Will be shipped same time with Early Bird Perk.
Items included:
  • Physical Keyboard Mod (10)
3 out of 500 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated July 2017
Estimated July 2017
Get this perk
$600
USD
+ Shipping
Retail Bulk Order Other Layout
Bulk Order for QWERTZ, AZERTY and Scandic users. The delivery will be 1-2 months after shipping Early Birds of QWERTY Layout.
Items included:
  • Non-QWERTY Keyboard Mod (10)
0 out of 500 claimed
Ships Worldwide
Estimated August 2017
Estimated August 2017
Get this perk
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