By Gary Abel on Wed, 04/04/2012
As you wander around Macworld, you see many variations on a theme. Vendor after vendor with iPhone caes in every configuration possible were there. You saw several vendors selling the new gloves that work on the iPhone or iPod touch screen at several booths. App vendors were everywhere. But I came upon one booth that was selling some new and innovative items which made them stand out from the rest. The company was XSKN.
The most exciting thing XSKN showed was a keyboard for the iPhone. It had people stopping in the aisle. Don't get too excited. It's not available yet. They're waiting to hear from Apple for a go- ahead. The company makes keyboards for Apple computers and has had a close relationship with Apple. Their Mac line of keyboards is quite sleek and elegant. They sell keyboard and overlays for different applications which have the keyboard shortcuts right on the keys so you don't have to remember them. This is perfect for the aging who have trouble remembering what they had for dinner last night... like me. The proposed iPhone keyboard would link wirelessly to the iPhone. It would provide shortcuts to some of the more popular iPhone apps such as Skype, Google, Facebook, and YouTube. The picture is a prototype. They are planning a different method of attaching the iPhone to the keyboard which wouldn't be as large as the one shown. An iPad version is also in the works. www.XSKN.com
The other standout for me was the X-mini. This is an external speaker for the iPhone or iPod touch. I ride my bike a lot in the summer and have always been frustrated with the fact that I can't listen to my music while biking. Riding a bike with earbuds in your ears is not a good idea. This little speaker looks like a little ball and hangs from a lanyard (not included) around your neck. It twists open to expose the accordion-like Bass Xpansion. You simply plug it into the headphone jack on your iPhone, turn it on, and off you go. Don't let the size fool you. I was surprised at the volume on it. There is an on/off switch, a control for the volume level and a USB mini port so you can recharge the device. The company states you can go 10 hours on a single charge. The also have a X-mini Max version which provides 2 speakers so you can have stereo sound.. I watched the smile on one little girl's face when she found out her dad was buying her one of these. They come in various colors. For more information, check out their website. www.x-mini.com/#/feelit