Tech Roundup / Start-up to Change the Way We Type

KeyView is updating keyboard technology; more Israeli companies nearing IPOs on the Nasdaq.

Dov Moran reinvents the keyboard: Dov Moran invented a keyboard with a built-in screen that displays the last line you typed, making it possible to keep your eyes looking only at the keyboard.

Called the Smartype, the keyboard was developed by the start-up KeyView. The device can be a boon for users who don’t touch type, sparing them looking up at the screen every few seconds.

Also, the keyboard screen serves as an expanded computer screen. It can present input from interactive computer applications like news and stock tickers, weather updates and email alerts.

One of KeyView's major investors is Dov Moran, pioneer of flash memory (M-Sytems) and the famous Disk on Key. He also founded the cellphone-manufacturing startup Modu, which flopped dismally. Modu had developed a miniature modular cellphone that could be modified in functionality and shape by adding different outer jackets to it. But the launch of the iPhone in 2007 changed the mobile-phobe world and in 2011, after raising more than $100 million in investments, Modu shut its doors.

Bezeq laying fiber optic cable to buildings: Preparing for the advent of competition in the landline market, the Bezeq phone company last week announced a plan to lay fiber optic cable to buildings. That is not the same as laying fiber optic to the home, mind you: Psagot Investment House analyst Ilanot Sherf points out that laying down that last stretch, to the home, is extremely expensive and will take a long time. Meanwhile, however, Bezeq is evidently preparing for the day that competition from Israel Electric Corp rears its ugly head with this initial step towards an eventual extension of fiber optic service to homes.

The IEC envisions building a fiber optic cable on its own grid; the venture depends however on the debt-ridden utility finding a partner for the venture.

Start-ups, don’t let Facebook's IPO get you down: The frightening flop of the Facebook flotation on Wall Street - which means, the roughly 50% steep loss investors incurred if they got in at its IPO - could be a deterrent to tech companies thinking of a market debut. Right? Well, maybe, but according to Price WaterhouseCoopers Israel, no less than 20 Israeli companies are gearing up to float on Nasdaq.

According to PwC Israel partner Guy Preminger, these companies are ripe and ready for stock offerings. Next to the embarrassing failure of Facebook's IPO, which began at a market cap of $104 billion and started today at less than $39 billion, there have been some good IPOs, among them those of Israeli entrepreneur Nir Zuk's Palo Alto Networks, Preminger points out.

With writing by Ruth Schuster.