December 13, 2013
Seacrest In…For $1 Million: Ryan Seacrest Invests In New iPhone Keyboard Case
If you’re a carbon-based lifeform on this planet, chances are pretty good that you know who Ryan Seacrest is.
As if he wasn’t already busy enough, Ryan Seacrest has another new job: technology startup entrepreneur.
The ubiquitous media personality is already a multi-hyphenate. The TV host-radio personality-“E! News” producer-red carpet correspondent-television mogul-occasional actor-reality TV producer-spray tanning enthusiast-that guy who dated that girl from “Dancing with the Stars” might be relatively diminutive in stature, but his career is huge. Heck, he hasn’t just charted a nice career path; he’s built himself an empire. Now he has taken on yet another new venture.
Seacrest has invested $1 million and co-founded Typo Keyboards along with Show Media CEO Laurence Hallier and their first offering is the Typo keyboard case, a case for the Apple iPhone that includes a full QWERTY keyboard.
But before we get into the technical specs of this revolutionary new device, it’s helpful to know a little about the catalyst for its creation. It’s a truly inspirational tale, one that should be recited to children each holiday season, or perhaps narrated by Seacrest himself in a special radio broadcast.
According to a Typo press release, here’s how the epic tale began:
“The back story of Seacrest’s interest in this — for many of his friends and colleagues, carrying two phones was a habit: One for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for virtually everything else. One night, Ryan and his friend Laurence Hallier, CEO of Show Media, were out to dinner and both had phones on the table. Two people, four phones!”
So, let’s get this straight. A couple of multi-millionaires were having dinner together at some posh restaurant where one goes to be seen, inevitably begging for fans, admirers and paparazzi to grant them their privacy.
Suddenly, to their shock and chagrin, their dinner conversation and overall ambiance were marred by the appearance of four cell phones on the table? FOUR. Oh, the humanity!
It seems that Seacrest and Hallier (as well as numerous friends and colleagues) find it necessary to use two cellphones: one with a full keyboard for typing and correspondence (read: Blackberry), the other an iPhone they use for everything else.
Presumably, this was a source of much humor as they dined among the commoners who only use one smartphone. But it provided a spark for an idea. And that spark caught fire, spurring them to sample and test out numerous keyboard cases and accessories, none of which were up to Seacrest’s exacting standards.
So they decided to make a few bucks and create their own.
The result is the Typo. (A product whose name is far less clever than its creators think it is. Oh, its meaning is twofold? Mr. Seacrest, you are like an onion – just when I think I’ve been able to fully plumb the depths of your cleverness, you peel away yet another layer, revealing more comedy gold.)
This new keyboard does offer some options that might be attractive to some users.
The full QWERTY keyboard is very reminiscent of those found on Blackberry devices, which some claim allows them to type faster with fewer typos. (There’s that titular wordplay again. Oh, Seacrest.)
It’s also fully backlit with white LEDs, plus Typo also comes with something called Typo smart typing, which is “custom Typo Smart Auto-Correct.” (Isn’t normal auto-correct already frustrating enough?)
Using Typo instead of the iPhone’s virtual keyboard does bring back 40% more screen space for typing, in case scrolling is too taxing when you clearly have a lot to say.
But let’s not overlook the one critical thing it offers: “quick access to all your most necessary currency keys.”
Thank heavens! You can finally taunt friends with emails and texts about your total net worth without having to go to the secondary numerical screen on iPhone’s virtual keyboard. Think of the hours you will save not tapping back and forth between those screens! In the time you’ll save, you can create another reality TV show.
After two years in development and now it’s coming your way in early 2014; just in time to simplify your vote-by-text process for “American Idol.”
Impressively, it weighs only 1.4 ounces. It’s communicates wirelessly with iPhone via Bluetooth 3.0 and is a snap to setup, pairing like any Bluetooth device.
Typo charges externally and comes with a Micro-USB cable and charging instructions. (In case you’ve never charged an electronic device before. It’s probably a fully illustrated booklet when just a Post-It would suffice. If only IKEA were so thorough.)
Its dimensions are 6.2mm (W) x 14.1mm (T) x 1mm (D). This is good news, because now Seacrest won’t have to worry about additional tuxedo bulk caused by two cell phones when he’s working the red carpets this season.
Though only designed for iPhone 5 and 5s models, plans are underway to expand the product offerings to include other smartphones and tablets. Typo is currently available for pre-order and will start shipping in January 2014.
Mercifully, it will now be easier than ever for him to type his trademark closing salutation: “Seacrest out.”
Image Credit: Typo Products LLC