Friday, June 19, 2015

Bluetooth Switch IOGEAR KeyShair GKMB02

I've been searching for a bluetooth switch for a year or two. A simple gadget that would allow me to use one keyboard and trackball for multiple devices and would allow me to switch between devices with a simple hotkeys. I already have bought  Logitech K810 keyboard that has that functionality but it's only for a keyboard. As a mouse I use a trackball because it's so much faster to use and only decent wireless trackball is Orbit from Kensington but it has it's own dongle and therefore tied to only one device.

Where are you?

Finally I found what I was looking for:
MultiBlue Dongle USB BlueTooth V3.0 HiD PC Keyboard and Mouse Switch for Android, iPhone and iPad (BT300KMS)
I then googled a bit more and found the same device with different names:
IOGEAR KeyShair Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse for Smartphones and Tablets (GKMB02)

It seems the original maker is Zaram from South-Korea.
Easyblue - Keyboard/Mouse Sharing Device
The device was launched 21.12.2012, two and a half years ago and I've been looking for a device like this for two years! There might be some need of improving in marketing departments...with these kinds of niche markets it is essential to find the right channels for marketing the product efficiently..The one I bought was Iogears KeyShair.


The device was easy to install but I had to buy two new BT dongles to get my system working. My host PC's BT dongle was already old and it didn't pair with my Twiddle3 keyboard. So I bought Asus USB-BT400 dongle and there was no problem with pairing anymore. Then I had problems in pairing KeyShair with Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch and read I was not the only one that had problems with Lenovo's bluetooth so I bought a second USB-BT400 for it and it paired with KeyShair effortlessly. I also connected KeyShair with my phone and tablet, no problems with them.

Input lag

I tried to measure additional lag with Human Benchmark - Reaction Time Test
Usb trackball -> Client PC 270ms
Usb trackball -> Host PC -> KeyShair -> Client PC 280ms
So KeyShair does not make much lag, only measured additional +10ms.

Kensington trackball had much more lag:
Kensington -> Host PC -> KeyShair -> Client PC 400ms = +120ms additional lag compared to usb trackball.


What can I say? It works as it should. The best part is I can use my wireless keyboard and Twiddler3 both and learn writing with Twiddler3. If there is a key I don't yet know, I can write it with my Logitech keyboard and then gradually learn all the keys with Twiddler3.
Now I can switch all the input devices with a simple hotkeys.
Twiddler3 also autoconnects with my PC which it does not do with my phone&tablet. KeyShair autoconnects with phone&tablet so I don't have to connect Twiddler3 manually to Android devices anymore.

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