One of the most eagerly anticipated peripherals of this year has been iBIZ Technology Corp.’s Virtual Keyboard (VKB). Although this was first announced many months ago, the release date has slipped numerous times.
Now, the fate of the VKB has become very uncertain. iBIZ announced earlier this week that it is bringing legal action in Israel against several companies and individuals related to this product.
In a statement, iBIZ said, “Since January the defendants have caused recurring delays in production; these delays were coupled with the defendants’ demand for prepayment of goods. After several demand notices issued by iBIZ for information and assurances were not responded to, iBIZ was forced to take legal action.”
Smart Mobile Assets was able to dig up some details on what’s going on. Reportedly, among the people iBIZ is now suing are the ones that first brought the VKB to its attention. iBIZ then entered into an agreement with this group to distribute the VKB.
iBIZ then began to heavily market this product and succeeded in creating a lot of buzz. There were several delays in the release but the company remained optimistic. Then, on the very eve of the release, it was discovered that no one had gotten approval from the Food and Drug Administration to release the VKB in the U.S., something it absolutely has to have because of its built-in laser.
The lawsuits began when iBIZ discovered that the people it had been working with were only intermediaries for the company that actually owns the technology behind the VKB, and that these people no longer represented the company.
iBIZ also reportedly learned that the VKB was being offered to other companies for distribution. One of these is quite likely Samsung, which recently said it was going to release a laser keyboard for its smartphones.
To add to the confusion, the Securities and Exchange Commission has begun an “informal inquiry” into iBIZ. If this relates to the VKB in any way isn’t known.
Exactly when, or if, iBIZ will ever be able to put the VKB on the market is very much up in the air at this point. The company didn’t not respond to Brighthand‘s requests for additional information. It is still taking pre-orders for this device.
An Overview of the Virtual Keyboard
This device will attach to handhelds and smartphones and use a laser to project the image of a keyboard onto the surface of the desk where the handheld is placed, allowing the user to input text without a physical keyboard.
The VKB will provide a full-size QWERTY keyboard including Function keys, but the projector will weigh only two ounces and will be similar in size to a disposable cigarette lighter.