The American company Lasered Pics is now making keyguards available for the iPad. Keyguards are available which conform to the shape of the standard iPad keyboard and special-purpose keyguards for Proloquo2Go, TapSpeak Choice and Speak It! are also available. All iPad keyguards are made from 1/8" (0.3cm) thick clear acrylic and come with optional 1/16" (0.15cm) bumpers which can raise the keyguard above the screen to prevent accidental touches.
Standard iPad keyboard guards come in both landscape and portrait orientations and will suit QWERTY, AZERTY and QWERTZ keyboard layouts.
Proloquo2Go keyguards are also available for both portrait and landscape orientations and keyguards can be ordered that suit all current Proloquo2Go options including standard and large toolbar sizes, and optionally "wide" mode. Tap Speak keyguards can be made to suit 2-56 items and also come in portrait and landscape orientations. Speak It doesn't have any layout options available at the moment. Lasered Pics report they will be designing a keyguard to suit Proloquo2Go's word prediction mode keyboard, and are also working on keyguards for additional AAC apps.
Lasered Pics keyguards can be used with the standard Apple iPad case, with no case, or with any other case that does not obstruct the front of the iPad. The website advises that the current keyguards will not fit properly when used with the OtterBox iPad case.
Keyguards are smaller than the iPad's full size so they should fit both the original iPad and iPad 2 with no problems.
Current keyguards also cover the "home" button but this may be optional in the future. I can imagine it would be a bonus for some users, as preventing access to the "home" button has been a problem for some.
Steve from Lasered Pics has advised me that anybody wanting a keyguard for a different iPad application should contact him via the website. He couldn't give me a price for a custom keyguard as it depends on too many factors, but it can certainly be done.
Standard iPad keyguards cost US$19.95 each, but until 31 March 2011 you can get a 10% discount for ordering 2 or more TapSpeak keyguards - use the promo code TAPSPEAK when checking out!
- Ricky Buchanan