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Microsoft Hardware Demos Pressure-Sensitive Keyboard

ScuttleMonkey posted about 5 years ago | from the wtb-vi-plugin-for-this-device dept.

Input Devices 212

Krystalo writes to tell us that Microsoft hardware has an interesting demo of a pressure-sensitive keyboard they have designed. While there are no currently announced plans to turn this into a shipping product, there are many cool uses that one could imagine a device like this providing. "The device will be put to use in the first annual Student Innovation Contest in Victoria, Canada, where contestants will be supplied with a keyboard prototype and challenged with developing new interactions for it. Contestants will demo their creations and attendees will vote for their favorite at the conference on October 5. $2,000 prizes will be given to the authors of programs deemed as the most useful, the best implementation, and the most innovative."

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Another stroke of genious from MS (2, Funny)

Froze (398171) | about 5 years ago | (#28990349)

A keyboard that can actually detect when someone presses on a key! Will wonders never cease.

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (4, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 5 years ago | (#28990483)

No, it is PRESSURE SENSITIVE. It will upcase letters when you press THEM HARD.

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (5, Funny)

Tim4444 (1122173) | about 5 years ago | (#28990581)

aha! finally a keyboard that can make everything uppercase when i'm shouting at you!! i mean SHOUTING AT YOU!!!!

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (4, Informative)

infolation (840436) | about 5 years ago | (#28991009)

The parallels with synthesiser keyboard technology are quite interesting. The video in the article talks about using the force the key's hit with to determine whether a key was pressed in error. Soft key hits are likely to be unintentional 'glancing blows'. This is also the classic problem with non-touch sensitive synth keyboards - they suddenly make adept pianists appear to be clumsy morons because every glancing key hit produces a 'wrong note'.

However, in synth terminology, keyboards are distinguished as 'velocity sensitive' (how fast the key is initially hit, like a piano) and 'pressure sensitive' (how hard the key is pressed after the initial strike, like a clavichord pitch-bending a note, sometimes called 'polyphonic aftertouch'). The microsoft keyboard is both velocity and pressure sensitive, with multiple simultaneous channels of pressure sensitivity. The pressure aftertouch has some interesting applications in creative software, where artists have to input several layers or dimensions of data simultaneously. (My field is film post-production so I'm specifically thinking about 3-D). This is currently implemented in most software using a messy combination of simultaneously mouse and modifier keys. But using pressure sensitive keys would accommodate several other simultaneous continuously-variable 'dimensions' of data input.

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (2, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | about 5 years ago | (#28991165)

I can imagine a large variety of useful ways to use pressure sensitive keys in gaming and media editing. Specifically, with applying paint tools in GIMP or Photoshop.

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (2, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | about 5 years ago | (#28991087)

That's actually a pretty cool idea. You've just eliminated the shift and capslock keys. You could probably eliminate other function keys too with other clever combinations + pressures. That would be fantastic for a tiny netbook.

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (3, Insightful)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28990593)

A keyboard that can actually detect when someone presses on a key! Will wonders never cease.

We're still waiting for the comment that can actually detect when it shouldn't be posted, as evidenced by the parent...

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (3, Funny)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#28990803)

Parent was the fastest "+4 Funny" to "-0 Troll" to "fucking gone" post moderation I've ever seen on /.

What a waste of mod points.

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (1)

sarahbau (692647) | about 5 years ago | (#28990835)

YouTube actually did almost that this April in response to XKCD's comic [xkcd.com]

Re:Another stroke of genious from MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990881)

[Citiation Needed]

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990359)

Is this going to feed into the system that tells whether the user is angry or not? What does it matter the amount of pressure you use to press the key? That's why we have 104 key keyboards, we hit the key we want, however we want to...

Re:What's the point? (3, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | about 5 years ago | (#28990617)

Quickstart guide included with your new Microsoft Natural Pressure Sensitive Bob Keyboard:

  • Press escape to pull up the game menu and access the settings.
  • Pound escape to rage quit.
  • Throw the keyboard across the room to rage quit while spamming "HACKING ASSHOLES!" into chat
  • ...

BILLY MAYS WAS A COKE HEAD! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990963)

BILLY MAYS WAS A COKE HEAD! http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,538220,00.html [foxnews.com]

Re:What's the point? (3, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | about 5 years ago | (#28990967)

because it turns your 104 into 208 or 312, there's the obvious "angry typing" usage, but there is also potential for stuff like...
Alt+Tab (light) = Change Tab In Browser
Alt+Tab (med) = Change Application Window
Alt+Tab (hard) = Change User Account

or

Left (light) = Move (one char)
Left (med) = Move (one word)
Left (hard) = Move (one line)

or the F# keys, you could now have 24 instead of 12.

(granted I basically just look at the pictures, didn't RTFA) but depending on how this is done, it could also mean 2 or 3x the failure rate, however, it could also mean half or a third of the failures for normal key typing, your Space Bar gives out on a normal keyboard, it's done, but with this one you could just press harder/lighter and it would still work.

Re:What's the point? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about 5 years ago | (#28991213)

Sounds like a nice way to accelerate RSI.

Just use it like a game controller. (3, Funny)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 5 years ago | (#28990379)

light pressure for lower case 'a', harder pressure for upper case 'A', and abrupt spikes in pressure for expletives "#$@^%^!".

Re:Just use it like a game controller. (4, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 5 years ago | (#28990527)

I can think of one use right off.
If person typing an email is hitting keys harder than normal. Delay sending the message for a few hours, as they are probably angry and might wish they had not sent the message.

Re:Just use it like a game controller. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#28990685)

Perfect! Now someone just needs to write the plugin for gMail.

Re:Just use it like a game controller. (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#28990721)

Delay sending the message for a few hours, as they are probably angry and might wish they had not sent the message.

by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011br>
Angry? Or just horny drunken emails sent late at night? C'mon, tell the truth...

And don't just delay the message... require an on-screen sobriety test and positive confirmation that the email is to be sent (with 'no' set as default response).

Re:Just use it like a game controller. (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 5 years ago | (#28991125)

Angry? Or just horny drunken emails sent late at night? C'mon, tell the truth...

Can't you just see Clippy, "It is 2AM and your are hitting your keyboard keys harder than normal. I suspect you are drunk and horny. I will delay the sending of this message until you have had time for a cold shower."

Re:Just use it like a game controller. (1)

Xtravar (725372) | about 5 years ago | (#28991085)

Weird. The emails I usually regret are the ones that I didn't realize are offensive/antagonizing. Apparently, it pisses people off more if you say something they don't like in a cool tone.

Re:Just use it like a game controller. (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 5 years ago | (#28991197)

In case of Vista the behavior when detecting user annoyance will be to increase the number of confirmation dialogs for a given action to three (normally there are two) so that the user will get even more pissed off, leading to even more confirmation dialogs. The inevitable result is that the user will eventually smash his computer to bits and buy a new one = Profit!

Re:Just use it like a game controller. (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 5 years ago | (#28990813)

Would suck to have to press hard every time you wanted to start a new sentence. I have to pause typing to "act" like I'm pressing the keys harder.

i guess the best thing would be if we all just typed lower case...

Re:Just use it like a game controller. (1)

infolation (840436) | about 5 years ago | (#28991081)

There was some talk a while ago about identifying users by their typing characteristics - examining the pauses between their keystrokes. Perhaps the force they typically use to press keys could be part of their password, helping to prevent shoulder surfing.

I wonder if stochastic passwords would be possible using this keyboard. In other words, passwords which are dependent on typing exactly the right letters, but with approximately the right force.

Dammed! (4, Funny)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | about 5 years ago | (#28990397)

Now keyboards can report abuse when I beat the shit out of it when I get pissed off

Re:Dammed! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990737)

No, but the psychiatrist version of Clippy will appear to help you finish writing you letter responsibly.

Re:Dammed! (4, Funny)

steelfood (895457) | about 5 years ago | (#28990899)

Apple has a patent on that.

The real question is (1)

Merc248 (1026032) | about 5 years ago | (#28990403)

Will this thing detect proper amounts of pressure from a chair?

What could go wrong (2, Funny)

basementman (1475159) | about 5 years ago | (#28990405)

Rubber dome keys, keys do different things based on different pressures, extra useless features, won't be hard to type on at all.

Re:What could go wrong (5, Funny)

dr_wheel (671305) | about 5 years ago | (#28990451)

Rubber dome keys, keys do different things based on different pressures, extra useless features, won't be hard to type on at all.

i"M nOT sUrE WHat yoU'Re tRyInG tO sAY> CoulD yOu BE MOre SPecIFiC?

Gamer keyboard! (5, Insightful)

BigDXLT (1218924) | about 5 years ago | (#28990421)

Yes, yes and more yes. The one thing I've always wanted in a keyboard. No more walk/run modifier key or jerky steering in driving/flying games. Yay!

Re:Gamer keyboard! (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | about 5 years ago | (#28990477)

Exactly... This would be pretty awesome for games.

Re:Gamer keyboard! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990515)

Sure, that sounds great at first, but as the keyboard wears out you'll end up having to hit it harder and harder to get it to move as fast as you want it to. You know, kind of like your mom.

Re:Gamer keyboard! (1)

dr_wheel (671305) | about 5 years ago | (#28990561)

...or jerky steering in driving/flying games.

I'll stick to wheels and joysticks in racing/flying sims, thanks. Atleast until they start using pressure-sensitive keyboards in cars and airplanes.

Re:Gamer keyboard! (2, Insightful)

CheddarHead (811916) | about 5 years ago | (#28990711)

I agree that for a game that is purely driving or flying that joysticks or wheels would be better. However, there are many games (FPSs for example) that incorporate driving or flying as some small part of the game, but the bulk of the game is better controlled with a mouse and keyboard. This could potentially improve those driving/flying games sequences.

Re:Gamer keyboard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990715)

if you're not using force-feedback joysticks / steering wheels then your experience is just as lame as using a keyboard.

Re:Gamer keyboard! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990727)

Playing Wing Commander and WCII with only a keyboard sucked. I could never line up properly on my strafing runs. This changes everything. I should reinstall DOS 6.0...

Re:Gamer keyboard! (1)

Ketto (1349749) | about 5 years ago | (#28991131)

I concur, at least without having ever put my hands on it. This is one of the primary reasons I like console gaming: analog sticks are expected and accounted for during development. You can hook a joystick up to a computer, but how fun is it to try and use one of those on an FPS or driving game?

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990439)

I am tired of copying and pasting everything from character map since my keyboard is incapable of this functionality.

Come on... (3, Interesting)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28990441)

Can't believe no one has made a musical keyboard comment yet...On the other hand, it seems we just keep getting closer and closer to LCARS.

Re:Come on... (1)

BoostFab (1608809) | about 5 years ago | (#28990583)

that leaves to developer! developer! developer! developer! developer!

Re:Come on... (1)

SkipFrehly (1606577) | about 5 years ago | (#28990637)

I was going to say the same exact thing. Making a keyboard that could be used for simple MIDI would be fantastic, but there's still nothing that can really replace a weighted keyboard, or a baby grand for that matter. Would be nice, though.

Re:Come on... (1)

Inda (580031) | about 5 years ago | (#28990801)

Sound effects on each key would make me buy one!

*peeow* *ping ping ping* *baaw*

Re:Come on... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28991089)

I was actually thinking along those lines, except piano notes or drum kit hits for each key. Run across a random beat typing a slashdot comment, and you can just re-type your comment to reproduce it!

Re:Come on... (1)

Mattsson (105422) | about 5 years ago | (#28990853)

Well... Comparison to the NanoKey [korgnano.com] would be in order. =)

Re:Come on... (1)

tenco (773732) | about 5 years ago | (#28990959)

I doubt that something like LCARS would be possible in an economy ruled by IP laws. Because, what's a CARS without an L?

emacs lovers' dream (1)

flynt (248848) | about 5 years ago | (#28990445)

This keyboard could be a boon to Emacs users. pressing a key "lightly" could mean to run the lisp function bound to the "light press" of the key. Many common operations would no longer require Control or Meta chords.

Re:emacs lovers' dream (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 5 years ago | (#28990521)

for the love of god, please add code to close it when I bash the keyboard repeatedly.

I have mistakenly thought this functionality already existed.

Re:emacs lovers' dream (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 5 years ago | (#28990589)

No, they would just add more features to emacs to take advantage of it.

"(light press)Meta-(hard press)Ctrl-(medium press)Shift-(hard press)C" automatically spell and grammar checks your document while giving you a light foot massage, but "(hard press)Meta-(medium press)Ctrl-(light press)Shift-(medium press)C" launches the missiles. That sort of thing.

Re:emacs lovers' dream (1)

pmontra (738736) | about 5 years ago | (#28991177)

Damn, I wanted so much to be the first one to point out how good this a multitouch pressure sensor will be for my emacs typing sessions. I'm going to have control, shift, meta, extra light, very light, light, strong, very strong, extra strong and many others. It looks like Christmas. I look forward to a light-x, very-strong-c, alt-ctrl-shift b combo. I just wonder if I can make it. I'll start training right now!

Ummm... (5, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#28990487)

How about the students sit on their ideas and market them when the keyboard comes out?

Should be worth more then a lousy $2000, especially considering the fact that the students will have NO intellectual property rights once they submit through the contest.

Just another way for MS to steal ideas, patent them and then pocket all the profits.

On another note, I wonder what MS employees think about their employer opting to go outside the company for ideas rather then feed their employees families.

Re:Ummm... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28990517)

On another note, I wonder what MS employees think about their employer opting to go outside the company for ideas rather then feed their employees families.

They're probably fine with it. Instead of having to think *what* to do with it, they simply have to think *how* to implement.

Re:Ummm... (2, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#28990693)

Right.

You're probably correct. Their employees more then likely already realize MS will patent the ideas REGARDLESS, and steal them anyways, so whats the difference, right?

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28991027)

You're 100% right. They should be coughing up 3 million for someone to e-mail in idea in for a product that will likely either fail or only have a niche market.

So odd that the years and years of practice and study that goes into being a professional musician isn't worth 0.99 USD a song around here but a simple idea should be worth more than what most people getting out of four years of college will take home in pay in a month as an entry level employee.

Re:Ummm... (5, Informative)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#28991105)

If "Contests" like this were actually trying to encourage rewarding students for the innovations (as opposed to simply exploiting them), why not give them a slice of the pie, say...5% of the profits generated?

I have YET to see a single "contest" that offered such a reward.

And while I'm on the subject, have you ever noticed that even the losers give up IP rights, so that if the student improves on the idea after the fact, it still belongs to the company sponsoring the "contest", with NO rewards at all? One more aspect that points to the real motives of the sponsors.

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28991245)

Yo. We should form some kinda police squad that goes round protecting all those that get scammed by schemes like this. Horrific for companies to do things like this and MS aren't the only ones.

Clippy (2, Funny)

Nos. (179609) | about 5 years ago | (#28990503)

Great, I can see it now. I sit down to type some angry letter to someone and Clippy is going to pop up:

"You seem to be pressing the keys very hard, are you upset?"

Its going to be the next Eliza.

Re:Clippy (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28990535)

Great, I can see it now. I sit down to type some angry letter to someone and Clippy is going to pop up:

"You seem to be pressing the keys very hard, are you upset?"

Its going to be the next Eliza.

Even Better, when someone is typing very hard to make a slashdot comment, it just starts outputting smileys instead. Calm down, THEN post!

Tailored to the OS (1)

gearloos (816828) | about 5 years ago | (#28990523)

It's just like windows. Press Harder if you REALLY meant to type "a".

ANGRY!!! (1)

erbbysam (964606) | about 5 years ago | (#28990539)

EXCELLENT, NOW THE WORLD WILL KNOW HOW ANGRY I AM WITH 8 BIT PRECISION!!!!! (/. rejected this comment until I added this in parenthesis )

Re:ANGRY!!! (1)

dr_wheel (671305) | about 5 years ago | (#28990691)

Personally, I'm waiting for the 2nd-gen 16-bit keyboard with Blast Processing(tm).

Re:ANGRY!!! (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28990821)

Personally, I'm waiting for the 2nd-gen 16-bit keyboard with Blast Processing(tm).

When that keyboard reboots, does it go "SAAAAY GAAAAAA!!!!" ?

Breakthrough! (1)

Phat_Tony (661117) | about 5 years ago | (#28990545)

Every keyboard I've ever used has been pressure sensitive. They need a different name for this.

With precedent, I suggest "keyboard col piano e forte."

I hope they didn't patent this. If they did, there's prior art. I mean, aside from pianos. With manual typewriters, when the ribbon got old, the harder you pressed, the darker the character.

Re:Breakthrough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990977)

Yeah! Also why do people patent game controllers? Joysticks and buttons have existed for a long time!

Aren't all keyboards pressure sensitive (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 5 years ago | (#28990587)

Yeah, I know they meant it distinguishes between a light hit and a hard hit.

They really need a better name.

Perhaps simply calling it "Variable Pressure Keyboard"

Re:Aren't all keyboards pressure sensitive (3, Informative)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28990661)

Yeah, I know they meant it distinguishes between a light hit and a hard hit.

They really need a better name.

Perhaps simply calling it "Variable Pressure Keyboard"

Velocity Sensitive is commonly used in the music industry in describing a keyboards that react to pressure. That work for ya?

Re:Aren't all keyboards pressure sensitive (3, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | about 5 years ago | (#28990857)

Amazingly enough, "velocity sensitive" keyboards respond to velocity, not pressure.

Re:Aren't all keyboards pressure sensitive (4, Funny)

RealGrouchy (943109) | about 5 years ago | (#28991019)

Amazingly enough, "velocity sensitive" keyboards respond to velocity, not pressure.

I don't care if the keyboard knows whether I'm bashing it or I'm throwing it across the room, so long as it knows I'm pissed off at it!

- RG>

Re:Aren't all keyboards pressure sensitive (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28991195)

Amazingly enough, "velocity sensitive" keyboards respond to velocity, not pressure.

Depends on which keyboard you are referring to. There are those that measure how fast the key reaches bottom, those that measure how far they are held down, those that continue to measure how far they are held down. All too often, they are clumped together as "Velocity Sensitive" or "Touch Sensitive" until you start reaching the higher tiers of equipment where the manufacturer actually paid attention to what they made. Visit a couple music stores, read some labels and manuals, you'll be both surprised and appalled.

Re:Aren't all keyboards pressure sensitive (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#28990667)

Well, in electronic keyboards [wikipedia.org] it's called either "touch sensitivity" or "velocity".

You're reading it wrong! (1)

mfnickster (182520) | about 5 years ago | (#28990951)

No, you misunderstood...

I feel very sorry for this poor sensitive keyboard - feeling pressured by Microsoft's hardware demos.

Not that it's the only one who feels pressured by MS, mind you!

Re:Aren't all keyboards pressure sensitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28991181)

After spilling coffee on my laptop, my keyboard is "Variable Pressure" now too.

Pleasure Sensitive (2, Funny)

Tom9729 (1134127) | about 5 years ago | (#28990641)

I honestly read the summary title as "Microsoft Hardware Demos Pleasure Sensitive Keyboard".

Needless to say I was very disturbed...

Re:Pleasure Sensitive (5, Funny)

ink (4325) | about 5 years ago | (#28991133)

Wouldn't that be a legitimate use of the keyboard? Would Microsoft pay $2000 for it?

gentle.. gentle.. gentle..

asdf... mmmm....

Harder! Firmer!

THERE!

HARDER! NOW! THE TILDE! THE TILDE! CARROT! YES!

Re:Pleasure Sensitive (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | about 5 years ago | (#28991301)

+1 Informative.

Re:Pleasure Sensitive (1)

bitfarmer (219431) | about 5 years ago | (#28991135)

I honestly read the summary title as "Microsoft Hardware Demos Pleasure Sensitive Keyboard".

Needless to say I was very disturbed...

I read it with the correct words, but with different emphasis as in "Sensitive Keyboard feels pressure from Microsoft Hardware Demos." I'm positive if I were a keyboard, sensitive or not, I would feel pressure from all those horrible Hardware Demos that Microsoft does, too.

prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990679)

hmmm... press harder on the keys to get a darker font...

http://images.google.com/images?q=antique+typewriter [google.com]

Bonus points (1)

LoonyMike (917095) | about 5 years ago | (#28990697)

Bonus points will be awarded for submissions somewhat related to this [youtube.com] usage scenario.

CTRL-ALT-DEL (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990771)

@Windows
ctrl-alt-DEL DEL DEL DEL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Will respond at the level of anger of the user!!!!

Lets cut to the chase... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28990777)

The real question is what kind of sensitivity response you will get when you hit someone over the head with your keyboard. Discuss among yourselves, any troll commentators will be seen as volunteering themselves for testing in this field.

I've heard that... (1)

PBoyUK (1591865) | about 5 years ago | (#28990779)

I've heard that pounding the S in Microsoft will provide a convenient shortcut for Micro$oft.

ECC and quality measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990809)

So, one thing I remember from my error correcting codes course was that if you kept a certainty measure with the bits in a message when you decoded it you could change the 'less certain' bits first.

So now imagine a spell checker in OO.o that takes this into account. You could filter out accidental hits more easily or if the user is gaming the system, lightly tap the letters you think are wrong and get better results in the drop-down.

WASD walk vs. run (1)

lalena (1221394) | about 5 years ago | (#28990833)

To post a real use for the keyboard...
Moving using the WASD keys in a FPS: Light touch means walk - Normal pressure means run. I would probably like this better than using a separate key to turn run on & off, but don't make me ever use more than normal pressure for running in a game.

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28990843)

I can press the 'Y' key real hard and avoid all the "Are you sure?" dialogs!!!!

Clippy plugin (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 5 years ago | (#28990873)

"It looks like you're pounding on the keyboard in frustration Can I help you with that?"

Don't spill your Dew on that (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | about 5 years ago | (#28990877)

The sugar would really screw with the electrical resistance junk inside the keyboard. I'll need extra large plastic bags to protect it.

A few ideas: (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | about 5 years ago | (#28990891)

-Variable scroll speed with arrow keys
-Double-map function keys to get through F24
-Pressure patterns can be analyzed to suggest how to improve ergonomics on a per-user basis. Combine with some sort of flexible/customizable keyboard that can produce a variety of shapes and you can adjust it in seconds. It would be sweet to have a keyboard that changes how it is raised or curved automatically in response to how you are typing.
-Apply this to cell phones so texting on a standard num-pad requires only 1 press per letter (would require a toggle switch or button as the learning curve would be frustrating)

Re:A few ideas: (1)

KenAndCorey (581410) | about 5 years ago | (#28990991)

-Variable scroll speed with arrow keys

Variable scroll speed for ViM position keys.

1-key keyboard? (4, Funny)

Ichijo (607641) | about 5 years ago | (#28990917)

As you can see, the keyboard has pressure-sensitive keys, meaning each key is capable of recording pressure force, up to an 8-bit resolution.

Excellent! Keyboards from now on will need only 1 key!

On our way to a player computer (1)

amliebsch (724858) | about 5 years ago | (#28990969)

This is great news. Now that we're able to record the nuanced performance of a touch-typist with decent fidelity, we'll be able play those performances back on actuator-enabled mechanical keyboards to get a reproduction nearly indistinguishable from the live performances. Certainly better than those old-fashioned paper roll macros.

Ok, where's the mouse? (2, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | about 5 years ago | (#28990979)

Why can't we just have a pressure sensitive mouse? Graphics tablets aren't for everyone, mmkay?

Re:Ok, where's the mouse? (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 5 years ago | (#28991237)

Why can't we just have a pressure sensitive mouse? Graphics tablets aren't for everyone, mmkay?

You'd be better off with a scroll wheel specific to brush size. You don't actually think you'll be able to hold a specific pressure with just one finger while moving a mouse in different directions do you? Also, realize that any graphics tablet has 256 levels of pressure at the low range. Your finger would be going up and down without you even realizing it, and you would get weird opacity and line thickness that could be achievable with a randomizer on the function anyway. Go get a Bamboo fun, *keep* using it, and you'll find out that they aren't as hard to use as some may claim. It just takes practice.

Re:Ok, where's the mouse? (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#28991257)

I wonder how many companies scour /. for ideas such as yours.

Well, it doesn't really apply to text as the keyboard would, but that is actually a really good idea.

My daughter uses a tablet for everything, including mundane tasks like web-surfing. Easier then switching between the two, I guess. Your idea would solve MY problem as well...sitting down at her machine and having to ask her where her mouse is.

To be honest, I think she would dump the tablet if she had a mouse such as the one you describe.

How about practical uses (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 5 years ago | (#28991073)

It would seem clear to any idiot that the examples given in the video are utterly useless.

So, how about some uses that might actually work?

I'll start with this one: Ignore the lightest key presses. How often have you accidentally triggered a key whilst you were simply moving your hands around? If you just completely ignore any key presses below a certain treshold, this may be eliminated.

Or perhaps this; if you press some adjacent keys simultaneously, the keyboard driver could only register the key that was pressed hardest. This would help thick-fingered people on netbook-sized keyboards.

HCI utilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28991093)

Much as I hate MSFT--I love their ergonomic keyboards and mice (even more than logitech).

I can think of lots of great things for this...

I've already seen utilities that monitor keyboard frequency to authenticate who's typing (different people typing at different rates, with different correlations between related keys).

Imagine if in addition to a password, there was...pressure differences recorded. Hunt and peck would certainly be different than qwerty users--and I suspect for example that I hit space much harder than other users. Can you imagine if your password was pressure sensitive on the stroke (or profiled for that matter, so a random keylogger couldn't steal passwords if it presented you with a "challenge paragraph".

Somebody save this post as prior art.

You could probably do something more interesting with chorded pressures (music?). But that doesn't seem so innovative..

What about toggling the repeat rate based upon pressure? Could be handy with arrow keys... Dynamic character set toggling? I've got capslock bound to escape for vim--but it'd be nice if I could still rarely use capslock (hit it *really* hard).

I can even imagine making use of heuristics with this to help avoid typos in word processing--a soft/"hesitant" press on a delete/enter/key likely to cause a typo according to the spellcheck might pop up the hated clippy with a prompt.

On that note--can anybody recommend a place that sells ergonomic keyboards, but in the nice old IBM "ultra heavy leaf spring" style that gives the nice satisfying tchunk feel when you press them--instead of the soft, squishyish feel you get with the modern keyboards with that...plastic bubble stuff under them?

~~(V)~~

More hand fatigue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28991097)

If pressing harder made something go faster or higher or louder or whatever I could see a lot of users complaining about finger and hand fatigue.

My hands are already tired as it is!

Pressure sensitive eh? (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | about 5 years ago | (#28991123)

So the harder you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete the quicker it will restart?

I dunno... (1)

Annwvyn (1611587) | about 5 years ago | (#28991175)

When they come out with keyboards that are designed like the ones in Star Trek or Ghost in the Shell : SAC, then I will be truly content with my typing apparatus.

What about aftertouch? (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | about 5 years ago | (#28991193)

If they want to use it for gaming, it's going to need to send aftertouch signals, indicating changes in pressure while the key is held. Otherwise how will it know when you go from a walk to a run without releasing the button, or want to go from burst fire to full auto?

It's not that hard folks, MIDI keyboards have been able to do this for decades.

Mal-2

Auto Capitalize (1)

Marillion (33728) | about 5 years ago | (#28991307)

A keyboard that can Auto Capitalize as I type. The would be awesome.
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