Early last year, Belkin said it was developing a Bluetooth keyboard. At that time, the company said it hoped to have this device out by the middle of 2003. It missed that mark by a wide margin, but it looks like this product will be available soon.
Belkin has recently received permission from the Bluetooth Qualification Program to release a product called the Bluetooth Foldable Keyboard.
Unfortunately, this program’s web site does not give any additional information about this peripheral. However, it’s quite possible that it will resemble the folding keyboard that Belkin already offers that communicates with a handheld over infrared.
The price and release date for Belkin’s latest mobile keyboard are not known at this point.
This is just one of a number of Bluetooth keyboards coming soon. Think Outside is already taking pre-orders for one, and Nokia has announced plans to release one later this year. However, Belkin’s may be the first one of these to support the Palm OS. Think Outside’s Bluetooth Keyboard currently works with just Pocket PCs and Symbian OS devices, and Nokia says its will be only for Bluetooth-enabled Series 60 smartphones.
What is the Bluetooth Qualification Program?
In order for a product to carry the Bluetooth seal, it must go through an approval process. When this has been successfully completed, the product is listed on the Bluetooth Qualification Program web site. This is somewhat similar to the process wireless devices of all kinds have to go through to get FCC approval.
However, when an FCC approved device is posted on that government agency’s web site, it is accompanied by documents that give a great deal of information about it. This is not true of the Bluetooth Qualification Program web site, where a bare mention of the device is all that is given.
More information is available on the Bluetooth Qualification Program web site.