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Search Results for: keyboard

What We’ve Always Wanted: Free Software That Makes Our Keyboards Sound Like Typewriters

By David Ponce

That headline has a hint of sarcasm in it, for sure, because… since when is more noise a good thing, right? But it’s not completely untrue either. There’s a certain nostalgia in hearing the sounds of typewriters of old, at least for those of us ancient enough to remember them. In my particular case, I was maybe 5 or 6 years old the last time there was one in my house, and watching the above video instantly brought back memories from back then. In the video you’ll see an Apple device running this piece of free software that works in all applications (email, web, word, etc.) and makes authentic sounds of “letter keys, spacebar, backspace, carriage return and scroll up and down.” It has no other purpose, nor does it need one. It works on OS X only for now.

[ Noisy Typewriter ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

The Spike Is A Case For The iPhone That Comes With A Foldaway Keyboard

By David Ponce

We’re not big fans of tactile keyboards simply because we learned to trust the iPhone’s autocorrect abilities early on and have become fairly proficient a typing fast on flat glass. But it’s undeniable that a large segment of the market still likes them; it’s kind of one of the only reasons Blackberries are still around. It’s also one of the most requested features on the iPhone, one which is very unlikely to ever make an appearance natively. The Spike case you see above is the best implementation of an add-on keyboard we’ve ever come across. It’s first a protective case for the phone, but there’s a hinge that lets you swivel a tiny keyboard with actual buttons and overlay it on the device’s screen when needed. As soon as you’re done typing, swivel it back and out of the way. You’ll get that tactile feedback you’ve gotten used to, as well as the ability to enjoy the full screen for other applications.

There’s actually three versions of the case. The Spike 1 is the least expensive, but the hinge for the keyboard doesn’t allow it to get tucked back, only flipped out of the way when not needed. To stow it permanently, you have to disassemble the case, turn the bottom part 180 degrees, and reassemble it. The Spike 2 is made with premium materials and a brushed metal accent band around the edge. The Spike 3 is a limited edition case made in Aluminum. Prices while on pre-order on Kickstarter are, respectively: $25, $40 or $150.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]

This Is A Tiny Keyboard For Your Phone, With A Special Feature Up Its Sleeve

By David Ponce

RIM, makers of the Blackberry phones, are slowly dying. We hope they find a way out, but the decline might have something to do with them pinning so much of their hopes on keeping the physical keyboard on their handsets. Sure, we’re going to get some flak for coming out so strongly in the anti-buttons camp, but life is the way it is and they’re going to go away eventually. Still, tons of people still like them and stay away from all-touch devices just for that reason. The Elecom alphabet-soup-name TK-MBD041 is a very small keyboard that’ll pair through Bluetooth to iPhones and Android devices and try to give you the best of both worlds. What’s more, you can use it to take calls!

It’s smallish, measuring 13.0mm X 141mm X 53.0mm. But you will never buy it, and here’s why: it’s $230!

[ Press Release ] VIA [ CultOfMac ]

Keyboard Key Decals Helps With Photoshop Shortcuts

By David Ponce

To get the most out of software these days, it’s important to learn how to use it properly. This goes as much for operating systems as for specific applications. Something as complex as Photoshop can take months to master, and developing an efficient workflow is important. To do this, you have to learn keyboard shortcuts and this set of decals can help. They are made specifically for the MacBook Pro’s keyboard and are “made using ultra-high resolution pictures, printed on transparent vinyl MPI material from Avery Graphics, which guarantees no residue with 3-5 years outdoor life.” And most importantly they are not expensive: $16.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Roccat Power Grid And Phobos Keyboard Could Revolutionize Gaming

By David Ponce

Well, that’s a hyperbole. Maybe “positively impact” is more like it, but makes for a shitty headline…

Anyway, there are a bunch of products on the market aiming to improve on the interface between man and gaming machine. For example, we’ve recently seen the Razer Blade, a $2,800 laptop that features a touchscreen beneath the keypad whose job it is to let you access vital game functions. But the Roccat Phobos keyboard combined with the free Power Grid application could ditch the expensive laptop altogether and bring similar functionality to your current gaming rig. The idea is that you’d dock the iPhone into the keyboard and it would become an accessory gaming hub. You’d have access to a bunch of shortcuts arranged in grids (hence the name), with a view into your machine’s vitals, macro keys, social networking pings, volume control, etc. You can edit these grids and include whatever you want into them, and then share your configuration with your friends. It’s pretty cool.

The application in under development at the moment, and Beta testers are being sought. We don’t know when the keyboard itself would come out, nor for how much. But something tells us it should be way south of $2,800.

Hit the jump for a few more pictures of the UI and links.

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What Your Crotch Needs Is More Keyboard

By David Ponce

Because designers have the best ideas, we sometimes get to look at products like the above pair of jeans. It’s the brainchild of designers Erik de Nijs and Tim Smit and it’s called “The Beauty And The Geek”. We think it should be called something else entirely, but we’re just not funny enough to think of what exactly. The point is that these jeans, which thankfully are more of a proof of concept than actual projected product, integrate a fully functional keyboard, mouse and speakers. Or rather, we should say that the designers don’t have the funding to make a project of this complexity take off. If they did, Erik and Tim figure the pants would retail for around $400.

We could make endless commentary on these and crack some jokes and what not. But we think the images speak for themselves.

[ Designer’s Website (in pretentious Flash) ] VIA [ WebProNews ]

Vioguard Self-Sanitizing Keyboard Gets FDA Nod

By David Ponce

Keyboards are really some of the most disgusting items in your household. You’re constantly flaking off dead skin cells and finger oil and it all falls through the cracks where it builds this layer of bioscum, which is a wonderful nesting ground for bacteria of all kinds. The only thing dirtier is maybe paper money. Now, when you’re at home, you just learn to give your immune system a good workout, but in medical settings, a dirty keyboard can mean someone dying. That’s why it’s a good thing the Vioguard has gotten clearance from the FDA to be marketed as a self-sanitizing alternative. It features a proximity sensor that will eject the keyboard when you need it. Otherwise it’s housed inside its UV resistant receptacle where it’ll not only be away from circulating air, it’ll be exposed to strong UV rays that are known to destroy viruses and bacteria (even the scary MRSA). The Vioguard uses 80W when actively sanitizing (a process that takes 60-90 seconds), and 3W on standby. The lamp is good for 40,000 disinfection cycles while the mechanism stands up to 300,000 uses.

There’s no word on price but as this looks like a medical application, we’re thinking it ain’t cheap.

[ Product Page ] AND [ Press Release ] VIA [ MedGadget ]

Multitouch Tempered Glass Keyboard And Mouse On Kickstarter, Could Become Real

By David Ponce

Sometimes… well, heck, no… most of the time we end up wanting gadgets just because they look cool, and today is no exception. A concept from Jason Giddings, an aerospace engineer and CEO of Giddings Product Development, this awesome looking multitouch sensitive keyboard and mouse combo is made from a special curved piece of tempered glass, and a couple of cameras in the base. Here’s how they work:

The design is based on a touch screen technology known as FTIR or Frustrated Total Internal Reflection. There are basically infrared LEDs placed at the edge of the glass. In this case, they are hidden inside holes where the glass is mounted to the metal base. Because of the low angle at which the light impacts the internal glass surface, it is bounced around inside the glass, much like looking through a tube to see the reflections on the inside walls. When the glass is touched it frustrates the reflection and the IR light is diffused downward, out of the glass, allowing the camera to see it. Software then determines the location and sends the appropriate information to your computer.

Jason is trying to raise $50,000 through Kickstarter and he’s off to a good start since he’s already at $24,415 right now. There appears to be no working prototype at the moment, although Jason’s experience in the field of product design (having successfully brought several products to market) should smooth over fears that this is vaporware.

If you want to go ahead and pre-order, it’s $150 for the mouse, $250 for the keyboard, or $350 for both. Not cheap. But look at them.

[ Kickstarter Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Lenovo Multimedia Keyboard with Remote Reviewed. Verdict: Decent Upgrade for the Price

Lenovo recently updated their paddle HTPC keyboard and the changes aren’t subtle. It already had a hit on their hands with the first generation of this very hand-friendly Multimedia Remote Keyboard and trackball. The tiny trackball has been replaced with an optical sensor that first made waves on the Raon Everun a few years back. The very responsive sensor also doubles as left click mouse button for very relaxed use. The nano dongle and the key layout are mostly unchanged. Most of the device has also been upgraded from slippery gloss finish to a more gripping rubber texture, only the keys remain glossy.

Other improvements include automatic backlighting and raised bumps on the keys for tactile navigation. The mouse buttons have been widened for larger hands to operate without adjusting their grip. The nano USB dongle can be stored in the battery compartment for travel which may be the only time you ever open it. The very strong wireless connection boasts a battery sipping 3 months of life. Other similar keyboards suffer from weak signals but the Lenovo Remote shows no sign of losing connection at even extreme ‘same room’ distances. Check out the full review at Everything USB if you are interested in how the remote fared after extended use.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]