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I'm thinking about reviving TOHKBD, will there be any interest? [not relevant]

asked 2016-01-21 16:56:52 +0300

Rikudou_Sennin gravatar image

updated 2016-01-21 17:32:08 +0300


I'm thinking of reviving the TOHKBD project originally started by http://funkyotherhalf.com/.

For those who do not know, what TOHKBD is, it's a hardware keyboard for your Jolla.

Would there be any interest?

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The question has been closed for the following reason "question is not relevant or outdated" by nthn
close date 2017-10-15 17:37:08.629369



@Rikudou_Sennin software side? or product/hardware side?
according to me, would like to have new one with a better plastic or/and Metal finishing for the main shell of it..
The last one is to static (completely not flexible) and is the hell to remove it with its mechanism.. Furthermore i don't like the granular aspect like sand. I'd like better the injection process for the same aspect like the jolla toh finishing .
Otherwise i have nothing for the electronic and software part.

cemoi71 ( 2016-01-21 17:15:14 +0300 )edit

Me and my friend want to revive it completely, e.g. hardware and drivers made by us, since it's not possible to buy a TOHKBD anymore.

Rikudou_Sennin ( 2016-01-21 17:31:30 +0300 )edit

Why new drivers? The drivers are open source and so is the hardware. Why not just improve the hardware?

jollailija ( 2016-01-21 17:32:55 +0300 )edit

My friend, who will do most of the hardwork, said that he would do it better way. Of course we will take inspiration from the previous work, but we want to do it other (and possibly better) way.

Rikudou_Sennin ( 2016-01-21 17:34:54 +0300 )edit

Always interested in hardware keyboards - if I would buy one? Depends on the price, the form factor and how good it works finally - but yes I'm intersted ...

elastic ( 2016-01-21 17:46:27 +0300 )edit

8 Answers

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answered 2016-01-21 18:42:08 +0300

cemoi71 gravatar image

according to me, would like to have new one with a better plastic or/and Metal finishing for the main shell of it..
The last one was too static (completely not flexible) and was really complicated to remove it with its mechanism..
Furthermore i don't like the granular aspect like sand.

I'd like better the injection process for the same aspect like the jolla toh finishing .
Otherwise i have nothing more to add comparing with the old one for the electronic and software part.
Maybe could it comes afterwards by exchanging ideas...

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It could make furthermore the toh interface still attractive for some people, and more attractive for other who didn't knew it...

cemoi71 ( 2016-01-21 18:45:12 +0300 )edit

^^ @cemoi71 : Try it - an let us know more about it ;) .... the best of luck :)

launchpad ( 2016-01-21 18:54:12 +0300 )edit

@launchpad oh god! what for a try from me!! i'll do nothing concrete, just support it if it get more concretely...

cemoi71 ( 2016-01-21 19:00:44 +0300 )edit

I would definitly be interrested in one TOHKB writing with an actual HW-Keybord is much eassier than on a Virtual-Keyboard.

regards Hades

Hades0299 ( 2016-01-21 21:29:18 +0300 )edit

the last toh took a year to realize. in one year my phone will be two years old.. the next sailfish phone will not fit i fear

pawel ( 2016-01-21 22:20:23 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-01-21 17:46:21 +0300

objectifnul gravatar image

updated 2016-01-21 19:44:36 +0300

Unfortunately, I'm afraid it's of little interest (for you): the current Jolla phone is in its final phase, and very unlikely to be replaced with a compatible one. The TOH concept was a brilliant idea, but never established as a standard, never developed into a wide range of useful peripherals, only fancy coloured back covers. A dead idea.

On the other hand, perhaps many users would be interested by a wireless small size HW keyboard that would be really working with any SFOS port, any device. This would be essentially a software job intended for existing hardware.

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@objectifnul I don't understand your reaction with "On the other hand, perhaps many users would be interested by a wireless small size HW keyboard that would be really working with any SFOS port, any device. This would be essentially a software job intended for existing hardware."
If someone want to get those kind of hardware with a mobile phone, he would be make the boring experience with the un-practicability of the portability.... should not forget here, and not forget there. Have enough place in pocket... Even if that is in end of life. Jolla will in short term maybe not invest in a new one. I tell maybe, because we don't know if jolla hold its hardware firm. if indeed yes, the interest is highly to hold the concept by next one. Please don't make a really with speculation and scepticism...
Don't forget that the other firm for hardware is separate from the big one....

cemoi71 ( 2016-01-21 22:07:12 +0300 )edit

@objectifnul Still that leaves the question of the existing phones.

On the other hand, I agree with @objectifnul, that it is going to be hard to make a vailable business case here.

@launchpad stated that the first TOHKBD had 1200 backers (https://together.jolla.com/question/116259/savetheotherhalf-toh-development-deserves-a-quantum-leap/?answer=119703#post-id-119703). But that was the first one, when the phone was quite new and the future bright. Also most of these potential "customers" now have a keyboard.

Even if @kimmoli got 200.000 EUR out of it. That is only plenty for a hobby project. If you try to make a commercial consumer product, I'm afraid you burn through this stack in no time. I'm not sure how @kimmoli got around CE, WEEE and RoHS selling so many units (I surly would like to know). But from his stories: while design and marketing was good, like Jolla he was struggling with production, timely delivery and after sales support.

Still I think it would make a very interesting hobby project.

Joerg ( 2016-01-22 03:25:12 +0300 )edit

@Joerg , Just to clarify, this was "second" TOHKBD, and building it was managed by dirk, not me. I was just making the software for it. Mostly for fun and "fame", not getting the 200k.

Personally i don't see that resurrecting this would be a beneficial project.

kimmoli ( 2016-01-22 04:10:14 +0300 )edit

@kimmoli could you please give why you thing that "Personally i don't see that resurrecting this would be a beneficial project." ??
not beneficial for who?

cemoi71 ( 2016-01-22 11:36:34 +0300 )edit

@cemoi71 "Personally" means that i don't see that there is enough market for the third generation keyboard for Jolla sbj device, thus making it volumes low, even lower than gen 2 keyboard.

kimmoli ( 2016-01-22 11:43:40 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-01-21 18:04:53 +0300

launchpad gravatar image

updated 2016-01-23 21:07:14 +0300

No, unless jolla's promotion of the TOH-concept gives you reason enough to dare a batch.

The TOH-concept has become quite neglected recently - i.e. no further versions or implementations of it in sight right now. The new SFOS Intex phones is very likely to come without any TOH mount capabilities. The community ( unfortunately ) has not been invited for opinons. It has been quite a while since the prototypes of @dirkvl and @kimmoli have been shown around on their booth @MWC2015. When people will start to phase out their 2+ years old jolla phones for a Fairphone or some other port-supported device soon, the TOH market will be declining.

Btw I strongly support the idea of a future-proof revision & promotion of the TOH-concept : https://together.jolla.com/question/116259

Anyway I really hope your enthusiasm will find a rewarding subject though ;) ....

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Well, I hope that TOH will be kept in next phone. I'm not still sure whether I should do it via TOH or e.g. via Bluetooth or Wifi to support every phone with Sailfish, not just Jolla...

Rikudou_Sennin ( 2016-01-21 18:09:24 +0300 )edit

Actually, I have been thinking for a while of something radically different: a phone with an innovative form factor, with dual touchscreen, one for display, one for keyboard/mousepad, both physically protected when the device is closed (a disruptive evolution of E90 Communicator).

objectifnul ( 2016-01-21 18:12:46 +0300 )edit

@launchpad according to you, why was it "silently neglected"? could it be just because that the whole concentration is put on the main core of the business? means a stable OS with functionalities as good as possible than the main os-actors.
According to me that is just a problem of priority, which means that would be simply irresponsible to put so much effort on the tohs more than the based functions of an os. If we know how big is jolla.
So let me exaggerate without to provoke you, but your reaction seems to me more a troll-feeding than a constructive one... Hope you understand me...

cemoi71 ( 2016-01-21 18:24:21 +0300 )edit

^^ @objectifnul :

This is radically :

They came up with this by 2013 : https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ubuntu-edge#/

They actually did it by 2016 : https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/mobile/phone/lumia950-xl-dual-sim/

... no further comments on the stamina & HW development competence of the dinghy-people.

launchpad ( 2016-01-21 18:26:31 +0300 )edit

@cemoi71 : .... well, TOH-concept needs to be made that attractive to convince future SFOS-licensors to specially release TOH-compatible phones. The request to do this ( https://together.jolla.com/question/116259 ) has been well supported - a response / action by jolla still is pending. We shall see. But not within the next 12 month or so. The Intex Aquafish phone ( next SFOS device in pipeline ) has been developed without asking / consulting the community though.

I have been a highly convinced supporter of TOH-concept eversince. I find it even more practical & realistic than the Puzzlephone concept alone. Both combined would be perfect but - still - wishful thinking ....

launchpad ( 2016-01-21 18:42:21 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-01-21 18:45:07 +0300

launchpad gravatar image

updated 2016-01-22 00:59:48 +0300

You could try with a SFOS-powered Fairphone ....

it has USB-type expansion port capabilities onboard and a removable backshell as well - thus is not compatible to the current jolla-phone TOH-implementation.It will also be a bit bulkier as well ....

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not i2c, USB.

r0kk3rz ( 2016-01-21 19:46:32 +0300 )edit

an other idea... for me is better for the jolla phone. but why not for the fairphone...

cemoi71 ( 2016-01-21 22:10:16 +0300 )edit

@r0kk3rz .... thanks for reminding me for the second time ;) - you are right of course : "Expansion Port Type : USB 2.0 Device Interface + Power Input"

launchpad ( 2016-01-22 00:57:43 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-01-22 14:13:42 +0300

dirkvl gravatar image


At least not in a profitable way. - there is no substancial market for it left - development and production costs are high - lots of time and work

But if you want to make a few units, feel very free, all files are online. It could be a good exercize for future product development.

Also, if you set up a kickstarter and raise more than 100k that would be hilarious in general.

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Set up an indiegogo and make it a tablet keyboard... that would make it more hilarious!

rgrnetalk ( 2016-01-22 15:42:39 +0300 )edit

Upped just for the 100k on kickstarter

tortoisedoc ( 2016-01-22 16:30:59 +0300 )edit

Well, I was thinking about making a tablet version too... But I still don't know if the tablets will ever be delivered or if they plan to make new tablets.

Rikudou_Sennin ( 2016-01-22 17:32:30 +0300 )edit

@tortoisedoc: I'm afraid I'll have to use indiegogo, my country is not supported by kickstarter :(

Rikudou_Sennin ( 2016-01-22 17:34:42 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-01-22 13:11:29 +0300

cemoi71 gravatar image

why those who are not interested and don't want to participate should absolutely express their disagree and convinced the other not to do that?
DO you find it very constructive?
Find the kind from some people really penetrative.
Anyway the number of interest people will show if it is interesting. or not?

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Well, every feedback is important for me :)

Rikudou_Sennin ( 2016-01-22 17:31:45 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-01-22 23:10:09 +0300

PatsJolla gravatar image

YES , but.... I always loved the idea of the TOHKBD it was one of the reasons for me to buy the Jolla Phone..I simply loved the TOH idea in general.

Unfortunately I came too late to order one of the first keyboards as I was till too busy playing with the phone the os the apps etc... Also the price was a bit too high... If you can keep it below 100€, hoping you would get thousands of orders of course :-)

I also liked the idea how the first keyboard was attached but I don't know if this was a good method or not simply liked the idea.

now to the ...but...

please consider adding a bluetooth chip as well. In the case there is another Jolla Phone coming which does not support the TOH concept anymore (a "crime", but will most likely happen) we could still use it as bluetooth keyboard. Would be sad to have the phone dying while the keyboard is so new but unused. So a battery would be needed as well...

I would be really interested to buy it, I have to say.

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answered 2016-01-26 21:41:07 +0300

Lomax gravatar image

I would be happy just to have solid OS support for external keyboards - of any type. That is, the on-screen keyboard should be disabled when an external keyboard is in use, all "gesture" functions should have a keyboard shortcut, and it should be possible to attach one via USB (as well as Bluetooth, NFC, SPI). There are plenty of mobile keyboards already on the market, no need to reinvent the wheel. A very quick search turned up this as an example:

image description

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@objectifnul Ugliest things I ever saw. WTF is the point of two screens inside a clamshell? Gimme a small always-on OLED on the outside, accompanied by a T9 keyboard, and a 16:10/9 HD screen with a full QWERTY on the inside. Gimme USB host, and video out. Gimme high capacity batteries. NOW DAMMIT!

Lomax ( 2016-01-26 22:48:10 +0300 )edit

FWIW, I still consider the Nokia N900 to have the finest hardware design of any mobile phone ever made. Apparently I am not alone in feeling this way.

Lomax ( 2016-01-26 23:12:24 +0300 )edit

@Lomax The idea is this:

  1. having screen(s) physically protected when the device is closed. Screens are vulnerable and expensive.

  2. having one screen for main display (always clean, never hidden by a finger/stylus), the other one being a versatile touchpad/extra display (video sub-titles for example), with large, non obtrusive touch-keys plus mouse pad, easy to switch from qwerty to azerty, etc.

objectifnul ( 2016-01-27 00:55:20 +0300 )edit

@objectifnul Yeah, well, it's a stupid idea.

I've carried my N9 literally every day for the past four years and a bit, with no protection whatsoever, and you have to look very closely indeed to see any scratches. I really haven't treated it with much care, and considering how much abuse it's had to take I'm rather surprised by how good it still looks (the polycarbonate "uni-shell" was a brilliant design). And the fact that the screen is exposed is a hugely important feature of the N9, since it is always on and acts both as a clock as well as alerting you to calendar events, missed calls, messages and emails. I only have to give it a glance to find out if anything is happening, and locating it in a darkened room is trivial. It's going to be quite difficult to learn to live without this functionality.

As for using a touch screen as a keyboard for any serious amount of typing - I can't even stand that on a tablet; on a small device like a phone it is excruciating. Trying to enter a long-ish password that consists of upper/lower case characters, numbers and symbols for example - or doing anything even slightly complex in the text terminal - is maddeningly frustrating. And typing even the shortest SMS while in a moving vehicle, or while walking, equally so. Many years ago I had a BB Bold 9000 and loved its backlit physical keyboard - same with the Nokia N900.

Lomax ( 2016-01-27 03:19:46 +0300 )edit

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Asked: 2016-01-21 16:56:52 +0300

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Last updated: Jan 26 '16