Emoticon Keypad Simplifies Typing Faces On Your Emails

When you type a lot of numbers, you can count on the number pad in the right hand corner of your keyboard (or a standalone peripheral) to help you type those digits at high speeds.  The emoticon keypad works like that -- except it's for those who spend extended hours socializing online.

Made by Lavatelli, the USB peripheral lets you type up emoticons with the single push of a button, instead of the multiple ASCII characters it usually requires.  Even better, you can finally get rid of that emoticon cheat sheet you keep pulling up since you can't remember how to emote a kiss while trying to hook up with girls on Stickam.

The Emoticon Keypad is a square slab of accessory with 16 buttons on the surface, arranged in a 4 x 4 configuration.  They actually used round bubble buttons, instead of keys, which makes the emoticon just a tad more representative of how it would actually look on your computer.  Each one corresponds to one specific emoticon, so you get the option of 16 different facial expressions to append to your emails, IMs and Facebook messages.

You're probably wondering why the thing looks so thick.  According to Lavatelli, the device will come with multiple glow options, allowing you to put some backlighting on the bubble faces you're tapping.  While that doesn't make it any more useful, we guess that minor addition should leave the thing looking even cuter.

No word on release date or pricing.  In fact, the Emoticon Keypad pictured (taken from CES) was only a prototype, so it could turn out much different if it ever reaches production.