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View Full Version : Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Coming Soon


Mike Temporale
08-09-2005, 08:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.expansys.com/product.asp?code=124250' target='_blank'>http://www.expansys.com/product.asp?code=124250</a><br /><br /></div><i>"Ultra compact in design and a wide compatiblity with Bluetooth enabled devices, the Freedom mini Bluetooth keyboard extends the input capability of a PDA or smartphone. Type texts, e-mails or documents quickly and accurately with the metal domed, 39 key standard layout, and navigate using a 4-way 'game pad' control. Access to key tasks can be customised by using programmable keys and shortcuts, and a backlight to the keys allows use in dim lighting, such as on a train or plane. Two AAA batteries provide enough power for up to 120 hours of continuous use. An auto power off feature conserves battery life when not in use, and a low battery status indicator reminds you when to change the batteries."</i><br /><br /><img src="http://www.smartphonethoughts.com/images/Temporale-20050809-MiniBluetoothThumbboard.jpg" alt="User submitted image" title="User submitted image"/><br /><br />This Bluetooth based thumbboard could be the solution that many of us have been longing for. You won't have to worry about finding a flat spot to setup your foldable keyboard, and since it's Bluetooth it could work with any future Bluetooth Smartphone you may happen to buy. Great stuff! I'm looking forward to the day this goes on sale. :D

seaflipper
08-09-2005, 09:38 PM
Yes, but with an Audivox SMT5600 or Moto MPx220 etc, where do you put the phone while holding the thumboard in your hands? In order to make it work you will still have to be looking at the screen and I don't see that working very well if you have to hold the phone in one hand and the keyboard in the other. Of course it might attach to the phone..but still....I really don't see this being useful for the types of things that the Treo650 is so darn useful for...

Mike Temporale
08-10-2005, 01:49 AM
I don't see that working very well if you have to hold the phone in one hand and the keyboard in the other. Of course it might attach to the phone

I was wondering about this myself. I'm half hoping that there is some sort of thing-a-ma-gig on the bottom that will clamp and hold the phone in place. Unlikely, but it would be nice.

..but still....I really don't see this being useful for the types of things that the Treo650 is so darn useful for...

Well, I'm not concerned about this. I'm not trying to make my Smartphone compete with the Treo. If I wanted the Treo expereince, I would look at a Blue Angel device from HTC. I just want to make it easier to pound out the odd email while riding the train, or where ever I may be. :mrgreen:

JuhaN
08-10-2005, 12:46 PM
I have been looking for something like this for a couple of years... :D
I'm going to buy one for my smartphone as soon it's available!!

=)juha

joefuture
08-10-2005, 05:17 PM
This looks very nice. I can leave my Axim x50v on my lap or on the table while I type. Being so small is the best thing about this device (next would be that super battery life!) - it's small enough that I'd actually carry it around and use it. Sign me up!

Also, this pic shows their concept for how it works with a smartphone... I don't have one, so I'm not sure if any of them actually flip back like this?

http://www.expansys-usa.com/zoompic.asp?type=item&amp;code=124250

JuhaN
08-10-2005, 05:30 PM
Also, this pic shows their concept for how it works with a smartphone... I don't have one, so I'm not sure if any of them actually flip back like this?

http://www.expansys-usa.com/zoompic.asp?type=item&amp;code=124250That's Nokia 6260 in the picture... So the Freedom Mini Keyboard must be working with Symbian Series 60 also!

=)juha

Omega2008
08-11-2005, 01:03 AM
I will be buying this when it comes out!

uknutz
08-17-2005, 11:59 AM
There is a holder underneath the keyboard. See attached photos.

http://www.freedominput.com/images/phot0001.jpg
http://www.freedominput.com/images/phot0002.jpg
http://www.freedominput.com/images/phot0004.jpg

This works for all phones, flip &amp; candybar types.

JuhaN
08-17-2005, 12:44 PM
There is a holder underneath the keyboard. See attached photos.

This works for all phones, flip &amp; candybar types.
That looks very nice!! :D Now I only have to get my hands on one!!

Have you tried the keyboard yourself or just got those pictures somewhere? How comfortable is it to type short emails or memos??

=)juha

Mike Temporale
08-17-2005, 01:05 PM
There is a holder underneath the keyboard. See attached photos.

8O 8O Ok, that's just plain cool. :drool:

Mona13
08-18-2005, 12:50 AM
Awesome! Just tell me when &amp; where it's available.

Mona13

uknutz
08-18-2005, 09:19 AM
I know Technical Manager at Freedom, and yes I do have one of the keyboards! The hardware is all finished and the drivers are almost finished. The release date of Q3 is vague, but I can confirm that they are looking to release ASAP (as early as beginning of September)

Some sites seem to be reporting the specs wrong, it is HID and not SPP. I have the nokia series 60 driver(BETA) and it works great.

More info as I get it.

Jerry Raia
08-18-2005, 04:40 PM
While it might be a bit awkward for us 5600 (and other candybar phones) users it looks like something I would like to have.

developerzero
11-22-2005, 01:22 PM
For Bars (and anyone else), check out this image (http://www.freedominput.com/Freedomkeyboard/style/hi-res-pict/mini/mini-w-device.jpg) from their site.

Also, it is available for pre-eorder at MobilePlanet (http://www.mobileplanet.com/us/) for $57.95. This thing is SWEET :!: ! :!:

Mike Temporale
11-22-2005, 01:48 PM
Also, it is available for pre-eorder at MobilePlanet (http://www.mobileplanet.com/us/) for $57.95. This thing is SWEET :!: ! :!:

It's been available for pre-order for a while over on Expansys. Doesn't seem to have made it arrive any quicker. :( I had hopes that it would be out by the end of Sept, then Oct, and now.... Well, I hope we can have it before the holidays. :?

BTW, nice picture! Now you got me all excited about this thing again. I sure hope it doesn't break my heart.

Mona13
11-23-2005, 01:44 AM
I would still love to have one. I haven't seen anything comparable.

Mona13

simond
12-02-2005, 02:04 PM
Also, it is available for pre-eorder at MobilePlanet (http://www.mobileplanet.com/us/) for $57.95. This thing is SWEET :!: ! :!:

It's been available for pre-order for a while over on Expansys. Doesn't seem to have made it arrive any quicker. :( I had hopes that it would be out by the end of Sept, then Oct, and now.... Well, I hope we can have it before the holidays. :?

BTW, nice picture! Now you got me all excited about this thing again. I sure hope it doesn't break my heart.

I just got mine through the post today from expansys UK, it works fine with my Axim x51v with no extra drivers, have only had a quick play so far and not with any smart phone I'm afraid.

Mike Temporale
12-02-2005, 02:40 PM
I just got mine through the post today from expansys UK, it works fine with my Axim x51v with no extra drivers, have only had a quick play so far and not with any smart phone I'm afraid.

It's a good thing I signed up on the Freedom site to be notified when they become available. :roll: Maybe they're holding off on sending that email until version 2 is released. :wink:

Thanks for letting us know. I'll get something posted to the front page so everyone knows. 8)

Richard76
12-06-2005, 03:37 PM
I had pre-ordered one from Expansys and I just received an email late yesterday telling me that it is on delivery from UPS for today.

Give me a couple of days to play around with it and I will let you know what I think. I will be trying to pair it with my SMT5600, my Moto V551 and I might even give it a whirl with my PDA2K and my Qtek 9100.

Mike Temporale
12-06-2005, 10:50 PM
I had pre-ordered one from Expansys and I just received an email late yesterday telling me that it is on delivery from UPS for today.

Give me a couple of days to play around with it and I will let you know what I think. I will be trying to pair it with my SMT5600, my Moto V551 and I might even give it a whirl with my PDA2K and my Qtek 9100.

Cool, Thanks! Let us know what drivers are available too! Some of us WinMo5 guys are holding off until we know it supports our devices. :)

Richard76
12-06-2005, 11:14 PM
Whooops, looks like I will have to wait a bit. I received this email this morning:

At the request of eXpansys US, this notice alerts you delivery of the following shipment has been rescheduled.

Important Delivery Information


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Exception Reason: AN INCORRECT ROUTING AT A UPS FACILITY CAUSED THIS DELAY
Exception Status/Resolution: THE PACKAGE WAS MISSORTED AT THE HUB. IT HAS BEEN REROUTED TO THE CORRECT DESTINATION SITE (RESOLUTION)


Notice it doesn't say what day it will be delivered now. Very clever!

ffaridi1
12-08-2005, 07:01 PM
Whooops, looks like I will have to wait a bit. I received this email this morning:

At the request of eXpansys US, this notice alerts you delivery of the following shipment has been rescheduled.

Important Delivery Information


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Exception Reason: AN INCORRECT ROUTING AT A UPS FACILITY CAUSED THIS DELAY
Exception Status/Resolution: THE PACKAGE WAS MISSORTED AT THE HUB. IT HAS BEEN REROUTED TO THE CORRECT DESTINATION SITE (RESOLUTION)


Notice it doesn't say what day it will be delivered now. Very clever!

I got my key board today ...... to tell you truth if this device could work properly with my mpx220 I bet I don't want any thing like Treo or Q .... this is so light and handy its really portable and the phone fits securely in the latch provided.

But the main hurdle right now is lack of drivers. ... I tried to pair it with my device (MPX220) right out of the box , it could pair with the phone but nothing happen, which is understood as there are no drivers available for WM2003 with MS BT Stack.... a friend of mine has DellAxim x50v with WM05 -MS BT stack I tried on his PDA and couldn't get it to work there too.. . I guess after furthur "Googling" and maybe contacting there tech support I'll probably be able to get it to work on [atleast] WM05 devices (SMT5600, Axim x50v) and if Icould , that will be a valid enough reason for me to swap my MPX220 with my friend's SMT5600 which he really wanna do (he is a clam shell lover ).

If any one has any info of how to get it to work with WM05 (Without installing any driver and with MS- BT Stack) let me know I will really appreciate.

Thanks

Richard76
12-08-2005, 10:14 PM
Of course, I am being facetious. It's just that I am not sure if my new Freedom Mini Bluetooth Keyboard knows what pairing is.

Yes, I received it yesterday via UPS. Apparently, they got the routing right this time. Anyway, I spent the better part of 2 hours trying to get this thing to work with my SMT5600 and my PDA2K and Qtek 9100. No luck with any of them.

Now, I have to admit that the printed instructions are really 'weird'. There is a disclaimer though that says any last minute updates to information can be found in the PDF file on the CD. So, off to the CD we go. Same difference.

The manual covers installation for Symbian, Windows Mobile 2003 (Broadcom BT Stack only) and Windows Mobile 2005. Now, for both WM2003 and WM2005 it says that there are no special drivers required to use the Freedom Mini. It does, however, tell you that for WM2003 "you must patch your Bluetooth using the software provided to upgrade your device to have full Bluetooth HID compatibility." It then goes on to explain how to copy the file 'btkbd.cab' from the CD to your device.

Under Windows Mobile 2005 installation it states, "Windows Mobile 2005 has all the necessary drivers built-in, therefore no further driver installation is required." Nothing is mentioned about HID cab files.

Now on to the weird pairing instructions. I must say that each of my devices found the Mini no problem, showing up as 'Mobile Keyboard'. The problems started when I highlighted this and clicked next. Whether it was WM2003 or WM2005, the next screen that comes up on your device tells you to enter a "passkey".

The instructions supplied with the Mini, both written an on the CD, tell you that at this point instead of your device screen asking for a passkey, "Your device will show a PIN Code on screen, which must be typed on the Mini Keyboard. Hold down the 'Num' key on the Freedom Keyboard and type the 6-digit number as displayed on your device and then press 'Enter' on the Freedom Mini Keyboard. The device and the Freedom Keyboard are now paired and ready for use."

Well, no matter what I did (or didn't do) I never did see a 6-digit PIN Code on my device screen. All I ever got on any of my devices was the screen asking me to enter my passkey. Now, as I have paired several headsets and all of them use '0000' as the pairing code, I tried this same pairing code several times with each of my devices to no avail.

Funny enough, when I went to the support section of the Freedom website, I couldn't find any reference to a 6-digit PIN Code but in fact I did see a reference to using '0000' as a passkey??? Go figure.

Anyway, as I couldn't phone Freedom ("For all support issues from outside the UK, please raise a support ticket." (via email)), I sent an email explaining what was happening and what I have tried. That was yesterday afternoon and I am still waiting.

By the way, I refuse to download drivers, cab files or anything "just to try it". I will await a reply from Freedom before I try to pair it again.

ffaridi1
12-08-2005, 10:58 PM
I have exactly same problem (Not offering any key) and then just to give it a tr I tried to pair it with my PC (which has a BT dongle with Broadcom/Widdcomm) stack) and here you go, as soon as I click on the Mini Keyboard , it shows a 7(Yes its "7" not 6) digit pin on my PC . I entered that using the mini keyboard and it pairs with my PC, I can type in using mini keyboard on my PC.... (But obviously I didn't buy it for this purpose :))

So One thing I noticed is... currently for Broadcomm stacks on PC it works and for same stack on phone we have to patch it with the supplied CD.... (I may be wrong) and its true for PPC (not SPV)2003 only.

Any ways, I had also emailed tech support and no answer, I called there US office and the lady gave me couple of email addresses to contact:
steve@freedominput.com
cameron@freedominput.com

That cameron guy is actually the president of company (If you google his email address you'll find it out)

I have sent them 2 emails explaining the whole thing but no reply.

I think this is too bad that they released the product without any support for devices other than Symbion and no SPVs and even PPCs.

I suggest all of us should email them so that they can know that people actually want drivers for other devices too.

ffaridi1
12-09-2005, 04:16 PM
This morning i got following reply from support@freedominput.com:

Hello,

A driver is needed if using the Microsoft stack on WM2003, and a patch if using the Widcomm stack on WM2003. On Windows Mobile 5.0, HID support is built in. Do you require a driver CD? Thanks.


I replied to him explaing the whole situation , lets see....

Richard76
12-10-2005, 02:46 PM
Reading that reply, there should not be a problem with the Wizard.

Here is the reply I received following my very detailed explanation of what was/wasn't happening during the pairing process:

"Hello,

Could you possibly send me a few screenshots of what is happening to phil@freedominput.com? Thanks."

Now, first of all, I have no idea what is happening to "phil@freedominput.com" (lol). Why is it so many people have trouble comminucating?

Second, why is it some people need pictures to explain to them that:

1) THERE IS NO SCREEN SHOWING A 6-DIGIT NUMBER
2) THE ONLY SCREEN THAT SHOWS ASKS FOR A 4-DIGIT PAIRING CODE

I am sorry for yelling but I am very frustrated here. Not just with Freedom but with computing in general. Why is it, in a world of 1's and zero's where there is absolutely no room for anything but black and white (read: no grey areas), can computers and any related electronics for that matter be so unreliable/unstable?

Thank you for letting me vent. Perhaps I need to take a "technology vacation". Anyone have some string and tin cans they aren't using?

ffaridi1
12-23-2005, 07:58 AM
Good News !!!
Looks like they have drivers for Windows mobile 2003 Smartphone devices which are running MS BT Stack:

http://www.freedominput.com/latestnews.htm

I tried them but for all of them it says installation failed as its not intended for this device ( Itried it on SMT5600 running both WM2003 and WM5) The only reason I could think of is SMT5600 runs Broadcom BT STack with original ROM so maybe thats why its not installing....
Can someone giv eit a try and let me know?

Thanks

Richard76
12-23-2005, 03:51 PM
@ffaridi1

I had the same result using the drivers/patches supplied on the original CD. First, as above, I tried to pair with my Wizard running WM5...no luck. Then I tried pairing with my SMT5600 (Broadcom stack) by installing both Broadcom drivers and then when that didn't work, the Windows drivers. Still no luck.

I was going to try pairing with my PDA2K but to be honest with you, I have had it. I am not going to give Freedom the satisfaction of wasting any more of my time.

So Freedom, if you are listening, I am still awaiting a reply to my second round of emails I sent you last Sunday (18th). If I do not recieve a reply with a complete, workable, simple solution by tomorrow (24th), I will be returning this keyboard. And, rest assured that I will never purchase another product from your company.

ffaridi1
12-23-2005, 03:58 PM
Same here,
I am really very frustrated by this...... I upgraded my SMT5600 to WM5 JUST to get this working, but given that my contract with Cingular is ending next April and there are bunch of devices with built in keyboard coming in next year (Motorola Q, Treo 700w etc) I probably will go for them and there will be no more need fo an extra keyboard for this purpose.

This was really a disappointment and I risk screwing my phone just because of them , (I've alreay backed of to WM2003 ROM) ...... I don't think there products will going to sell if they do things lie this.

ffaridi1
12-28-2005, 05:26 PM
Following is an email conversation I have with that cameron guy at freedom input:

-----Original Message-----

Sent: 23 December 2005 20:31
To: steve@freedominput.com
Cc: cameron@freedominput.com
Subject: Re: Question about Freedom Mini Keyboard



According to your website the driver pack FreedomAIO.20.12 (10.83 MB) has drivers for Windows Mobile Smartphone 2003, but when I'm downloading them to my phone I always get the messag ethat this driver is not for this device......... Let me know when will we get a "WORKING" driver for the smartphone with WM2003 and WM5...... My patience is getting out of limit and I'm telling you if before 12/31/05 there will be no driver out I'll return the product and will NEVER buy any thing from your company and advice my friends to do same.


And here is his reply I got today:

As far as I know, and I am not technical, we should have a solution within the parameters that you outline.

However we are closed until the 3rd. January, so the 31st. is just not possible.

I wish you well in 2006, and trust our reply early next year will help you.

Best regards

Cameron Macsween
President

Richard76
12-28-2005, 09:50 PM
Well, after reading that reply (from the President of the company, no less) I have just lost total confidence in this company.

He says "should have a solution". He's the President for crying out loud and he doesn't know if the information listed on his website is correct or not?

After scouring the internet for any information on anyone that has purchased/tried this keyboard, I am going to go out on a limb here and postulate that the only thing these keyboards have actually been tested with is a laptop.

The only person I could find that was able to get this keyboard to work paired it with his laptop (where this screen appeared with a 7-digit code, I believe, to be entered into the keyboard).

I will give Freedom until Jan. 6 to come up with a solution. Failing that, it will be going back.