Image courtesy of ION audio.
That's pretty nifty in itself. But think about the potential for such a device in conjunction with the larger tablet- or slate-style computer that, according to the rumors that will not die, Apple is preparing to announce toward the end of this month. In a column about the potential for Apple to create the "first post-netbook computing platform," I wrote in September that "To appeal to business people and be more than a novelty, the 'iTablet' will need features the iPhone and iPod Touch don't have, such as support for peripherals like keyboard and monitor."
Imagine something like a combination of the iType and a laptop docking station -- an iType with a couple of USB ports, for example. Rather than a flat depression, maybe it has a dock that supports the tablet at an angle, so it's easier to use as a monitor. Once you have your iSlate set up that way, you don't want to have to keep touching the screen to control the cursor; well, the BTstack project has produced a video showing Apple's Bluetooth Magic Mouse working as a pointing device with an iPhone.
I believe an Apple slate in the form of an overgrown iPod Touch could find its place as a portable media player or as the front end to a Mac-based home media center. (Think touchscreen universal remote on steroids.) But while a bare slate might appeal for some business uses, a slate that docks to become a workable desktop computer would be orders of magnitude more useful. The iType may be a curiosity now, but in another year it may just look prescient.