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Contest Winners Show Potential For Pressure-Sensitive Keyboard

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the more-input-is-good dept.

Input Devices 129

Chris Harrison writes "About a month ago, Microsoft sent out prototype pressure sensitive keyboards to 40 international teams. They had four weeks to hack and cobble together some cool ideas. The innovation contest that centered around the keyboards released the winners last night (after a voting period Monday night at the ACM UIST conference). Some pretty neat ideas, ranging from pressure-sensitive password entry (Safelock), magnetic pens for cursor control (Hidden Forces), and even cool climbing (Rock Climbing) and land-deformation games (BallMeR)."

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There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (5, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686621)

Every keyboard I've ever used did something when I pressed on it. Except the broken ones.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (-1, Troll)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686723)

Could the keys of those keyboards you've used recognize variable pressure input?

Yeah, I thought not. At least read the /summary/, for crying out loud, even if this is /.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (2, Insightful)

gnud (934243) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686763)

All digital pressure sensors do quantization.

Most keyboards sensors are binary, but they are still pressure sensitive.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686765)

Here's a nickle. Buy yourself a sense of humor.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29687151)

Here's a quartre. Buy yourself a dictionary.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687489)

Here's a dollar. Buy yourself a- no, y'know what? Save that for now. Dollars can't really do jack-diddly at the moment.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (5, Funny)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688437)

Here's a diem, seize it.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (4, Funny)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689157)

Here's a carp, I couldn't be bothered to teach you how to fish, so I leave it as an exercise to the eater.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (0)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688941)

Here's a quartre.

You gave him the pilot of Sandrock? You're gonna have like 50 pissed-off sisters after you.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29686773)

I think maybe he was joking...

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (2, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687069)

Could the synapses of that brain you've used recognize humour?

Yeah, I thought not. At least read the guy's /signature/, for crying out loud, even if this is /.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (4, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687463)

There are people who read /. without sigs disabled?

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29688135)

Says the person with a sig...

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688617)

I have a sig? That must have happened several years ago. How do I turn that off?

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689939)

Eh. What's a bit of text?

I leave them up because, well, sometimes they're worth reading.

But as soon as paragraphs of text and frickin' images are allowed, they'll be disabled instantly.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688731)

Actually yes.

Watch the vid at the bottom of the linked page, they "keys" are the same as every normal keyboard, its the control circuit thats different.

Not only did you "woosh" but you also "d'oh"

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687293)

Every keyboard I've ever used did something when I pressed on it. Except the broken ones.

In my mind, most keyboards are broken. The computer always does something, but it's rarely the something I want. Must be a break in the "Do what I think, not what I type, damn it." cable.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29688473)

... Except the broken ones.

You must have pressed the Break key.

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (1)

aquila.solo (1231830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688937)

I always wondered what that was for...

Re:There are pressure insensitive keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689277)

...clod!

What if it gets sticky.... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686651)

.....while were on the subject of pressure sensitivity...

Re:What if it gets sticky.... (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689823)

..I don't want to know baout your "sticky" keyboard, thank you.

BallMeR ? Oh really ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29686661)

Does the BallMeR application scream "Developpers developpers developpers developpers" when you press its buttons ?

Re:BallMeR ? Oh really ? (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686907)

No, you confused that with a chair-deformation game which has a similar name. This one deforms land.

I don't think on/off buttons (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686689)

Will be going away anytime this lifetime.

You aren't going to be able to make analog/variable button keyboards for $5.
Normal buttons will be here for a long long time.

Re:I don't think on/off buttons (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687331)

As long as you don't ask for too much accuracy, linearity, or stability it is quite easy to do. I just can't think of any good reason to do it.

Re:I don't think on/off buttons (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687585)

You can bet your ass that the people working with the first $5M, 10MB hard drives said the same thing about storage, and now I can buy a terabyte for under a hundred bucks. Similar trends exist for pretty much every computer component. If there's a need for insanely cheap pressure-sensitive keyboards, someone will find a way to make it happen.

Re:I don't think on/off buttons (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688535)

And they will be made in China, out of Lead.

What are recovery options? (2, Insightful)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686707)

What if something happens to the legitimate user's hand? Injury, for instance. Or, even simpler - typing with one hand because of holding a coffee mug in another.

Re:What are recovery options? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29686937)

Or, even simpler - typing with one hand because of holding a coffee mug in another.

*cough* Yeah, because they're holding a coffee mug. That's the ticket. One hand because of coffee mug. *cough*

Re:What are recovery options? (3, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687073)

Yeah, but now everyone knows your password is 'stewardesses'

Re:What are recovery options? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687577)

Yeah, but now everyone knows your password is 'stewardesses'

I thought it was 123456 [whatsmypass.com] .

Re:What are recovery options? (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687187)

What if something happens to the legitimate user's hand? Injury, for instance. Or, even simpler - typing with one hand because of holding a coffee mug in another.

Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Must be something weird in the water if they're that shape.

Re:What are recovery options? (3, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687503)

A password also tied to key pressure has got to be one of the most out-of-touch-with-reality ideas I've read all day. (And I've been editing Wikipedia.) As if ordinary users didn't have a difficult enough time dealing with foggy memories, poor finger coordination, and the inability to see what characters they've already typed! Implement this, and I will be spending all of my time helping users get logged in to our computers, rather than 1/3 of it.

Re:What are recovery options? (2, Insightful)

izomiac (815208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688555)

Several years ago I used a system that used keystroke timing to verify passwords. It worked fine, and was decently accurate, with maybe 5% false negatives and I didn't see any false positives (my experience, so no clue how it worked for other people). Using biometric info from typing can be annoying (you need to sit the same way every time when you type), but it works acceptably well and from the user's perspective it's all stored in motor memory so there's no way to "forget" it, short of hand trauma.

BallMer (3, Funny)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686771)

A land deformation game named BallMer? I see we've moved from chair-throwing straight to the fat jokes.

Finally! (5, Interesting)

Rah'Dick (976472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686803)

Finally a keyboard that recognizes when I slam my fist into it! Make that a keybinding for "stop whatever the fuck you're doing and respond already".

Re:Finally! (5, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686973)

The most useful initial application for me would be to simulate a shift keypress when you press a little harder than everyday typing pressure.

Could be amusing for automatically writing in caps when you get ANGRY, and handy for running in oldskool FPS games that don't support the full analog range of the buttons - which could be easily supported right now in any game that already supports analog games controllers.

Re:Finally! (3, Interesting)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687027)

I'm thinking of motion control in games, where pressing harder means going faster or hitting harder. I might sprain my fingers playing L4D though...

Re:Finally! (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687345)

hahaha killall other user or your processes and just do the f'in command! hahaha i love that great idea... should have submitted it!

Slashdot joke nirvana (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686899)

The goal of BallMer is "to kick the ball into the opponents goal by deforming the ground itself"?! My hands are shaking as I consider the joke potential here. Level playing field? The propensity of the real Ballmer to deform the earth as he does his ecstatic "I LOVE THIS COMPANY!" dance? I just can't believe it doesn't involve chairs.

Re:Slashdot joke nirvana (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29686959)

Well, if you RTFA, it turns out that you insert chairs into the playing field by pressing down on various areas of the keyboard, which is mapped into the game world. These chairs then repel the developer. The challenge is to position the chairs so that the developers are directed towards the Googles at either end of the playing field.

ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29686909)

Finally, a keyboard that is easy to use as a musical instrument!

Re:ugh (2, Informative)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687335)

woah.You're right. this could be awesome for lots of music editing and synthesizing work.

Re:ugh (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688429)

Exactly [wikipedia.org] what I was thinking. There are already applications that use text keyboards for that purpose, but that's masochistic.

It would work if they vertically extended and color-coded(black and white as on a piano) the keys a bit as part of a laptop designed for that purpose. You'd have a 2 * 1.5 octave dual-manual [madmanaudio.com] with keys left over for drawbar and other functions. Maybe they could put a little mod wheel or two on the side, maybe a little ribbon controller. I'm getting a hard-on just thinking about it.

Very Impressed (5, Interesting)

Chelmet (1273754) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686955)

I like this, and see pressure sensitive keyboards being predominant in the not too distant future, based primarily upon the supplemental embedded video at the bottom of the linked page. All of the proposed uses, from deleting word at a time, to recognising typos, to movement in games, I can't see any argument against. Its just a genuinely innovative device. A lot of the competition entries are rather useless as they stand, but go a long way to show the potential of the platform. One problem I've always had with PC gaming is not being able to play driving games properly without a controller, as on/off left/right is useless. I suppose this would solve that problem, as I'd now have an analogue keyboard. As to the typing/password recognition, of course it would have teething problems en route to full user acceptance, but all of the criticism levelled so far is easily surmountable. Someone loses a hand, or their typing changes - easy! As per online banking and whatnot, the user can answer a few predefined questions (independent of typing style) and reset the memory. A brute force attack could be prevented by limiting the number of attempts. Okay, so a couple of problems would always be present, such as typing with a coffee in hand or logging in to your girlfriends facebook, but overall I am thrilled by the idea, enough to make my second /. post ever, and am very much looking forward to owning one, providing they don't come with optimus maximus pricetags.

Re:Very Impressed (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687365)

One thing that might be a problem would be auto complete for user/password. Would there be a way to work around this? Is this an add-on for firefox or a software workaround with the keyboard? Yeah sounds promising though!

Re:Very Impressed (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688033)

Unless they put this into an IBM Model M... DO NOT WANT.

Re:Very Impressed (1)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688649)

providing they don't come with optimus maximus pricetags

I assure you, this [artlebedev.com] will cost MORE than the maximus.

Re:Very Impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689325)

how do you tell a user (a stupid user) that their password is going to depend on how hard they type it - you ask for their password and they say they typed it right, but they don't know how hard they pressed it....

Better name (2, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29686977)

They should have called the rock climbing game Ballmer Peak [xkcd.com] .

Pressure-Metric Password (3, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687013)

The first application mentioned, the one that assigns user-specific keys/passwords based on typing habits seems like a very impressive and inventive new method of security. Nonetheless, my primary concern would be that it would lock people out of their computers/applications when they have had a little much to drink. On the bright side, I suppose it could cut down on some of the poorer quality Youtube comments and twitter posts...then again, maybe not...

Re:Pressure-Metric Password (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687077)

I'm sure if you're setting it up on your own machine you could adjust the tolerance. If company IT is setting it up, it's up to them to determine the tolerance, and maybe they don't want you logging in if you're not up to snuff.

Re:Pressure-Metric Password (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687531)

Whoever developed the pressure-sensitive password idea should be required to sit at the Help Desk and reset people's passwords when they can't get logged in using it.

Re:Pressure-Metric Password (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687167)

MCP: Hello, Ed. Thanks for coming back early.
DILLINGER: No problem, Master-C. If you've seen one Consumer Electronics Show... What's up?
MCP: It's our friend, the boy detective. He's nosing around again.
DILLINGER: Flynn?
MCP: Yes. It felt like Flynn.

Re:Pressure-Metric Password (5, Informative)

jda104 (1652769) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687197)

Nonetheless, my primary concern would be that it would lock people out of their computers/applications when they have had a little much to drink.

We had a >95% True Positive rate (with a >99% True Negative. I can dig up the ROC curve if you really care...). Basically, the idea is to find and measure typing attributes that are keyboard/mood/alchohol level-agnostic. We're still working on getting funding for testing the algorithm after a few drinks, though.

Re:Pressure-Metric Password (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687283)

Hey, this is Slashdot, I'm sure I speak for everybody when I say that there might be a few of us that care. Yes, please, lets have that curve (then at least weI'll have some curve this evening)!

Re:Pressure-Metric Password (4, Informative)

jda104 (1652769) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688183)

A primitive write-up of the Safelock system is available here [jdadesign.net] - complete with ROC curve and some performance metrics. I've included a little more detail about the four keystroke attributes we measured as well as a surface-level explanation of the algorithm

Re:Pressure-Metric Password (1)

MikeTheGreat (34142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688231)

You'll also need volunteers to participate in that study.

If you bring the beer^H^H^H^Hresearch alcohol, then I'd be happy to volunteer my time :)

Memes.... (-1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687039)

I for one welcome our variable-pressure overloads?

All your pressures are belong to us?

Imagine a pressurized beowolf cluster of these? (maybe for an octopus or something...)

In soviet russia, keyboard pressures you!

My keystrokes go to 11?

Fuck everything, we're going to 5 pressure settings?

Hmmmm, I am having trouble coming up with a slash-meme for this particular article...perhaps a car analogy is in order?

It seems my slash-fu is weak...I still have much to learn....

Re:Memes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29688567)

Ballmer, what does the keyboard say about its pressure level?!? IT'S OVER 9000!!!!

This...is....PRESSURE-SENSITIVE!!!!

P.S. My captcha was chortle.

Bit pitfall ahead (2, Insightful)

BoppreH (1520463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687043)

I like the idea, but if they remove the *click* physical feedback, someone's going to die.

Re:Bit pitfall ahead (1)

jda104 (1652769) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687135)

I like the idea, but if they remove the *click* physical feedback, someone's going to die.

The keyboard still has the rubber domes, just like all the others.

Re:Bit pitfall ahead (2, Insightful)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687183)

Hey, hey... not ALL the others... some of us are still enjoying our buckling spring keyboards...

Re:Bit pitfall ahead (2, Funny)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687695)

What? WHAT WAS THAT? I couldn't hear you over all that damn clicking!

Re:Bit pitfall ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29687851)

I hate you

Re:Bit pitfall ahead (2)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689513)

Yeah, I hope this technology isn't incompatible with GOOD keyboards. Rubber domes. Meh.

Re:Bit pitfall ahead (1)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687143)

I was thinking the same thing... lol I had something of an idea though, maybe not as elegant but might work for people who like come click on the keys. What if it worked like a normal keyboard but after the key hit "bottom" you could push just a little harder and it would go a little further turning into a pressure sensitive key? I am sure the mechanics of such a device would be hard to build and also not cheap and probably break after a while but the idea sounds cool to me :)

Re:Bit pitfall ahead (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688763)

Wait, so like normal pressure sensitive keyboards would have a pressure rating of 0-10, your proposing one that... Goes to 11?

When other players are running as fast as they can, you could just kick it up another gear, take it to 11!

Re:Bit pitfall ahead (1)

jda104 (1652769) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689359)

Actually, that's how this keyboard works. They have the rubber dome, just like MOST other keyboards, with a carbon contact on the bottom. This allows varying degrees of current to flow through when the key is entirely depressed (but none before the dome has buckled). As more of the surface of the carbon plate comes in contact with the underlying sensors, the pressure value goes up.

Button Mashers (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687105)

If I connect this to my Nintendo can I win at SuperSmash Bro?

Keyboard innovations don't seem to last (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687207)

Remember a decade or two ago when ergonomic keyboards were going to save our lives and bring about world peace? That really panned out, didn't it?

Or remember before that when the Dvorak layout was being pushed as a better way to type? Clearly since we don't need to worry about typewriter hammers anymore we are ready to move away from QWERTY, right?

Some of us may recall a laptop manufacturer who claimed to have invented a keyboard that could use the kinetic energy of typing to help charge the battery - anyone have one?

Re:Keyboard innovations don't seem to last (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687317)

Some of us may recall a laptop manufacturer who claimed to have invented a keyboard that could use the kinetic energy of typing to help charge the battery - anyone have one?

What manufacturer was that? ACME?

None of these are ever going to happen (3, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687239)

Not to piss on their parade, but none of those ideas seem like anything that will ever in one way or another be used by anyone. Even the password thing. Why? Because although it seems like a good idea, people like to think of computers as simple dumb machines. And they need to stay this way, so we can predict how they will respond to our actions. No one's going to want to be locked out of their account because their computer doesn't like the way they're typing today (maybe they hurt their left wrist, or maybe they'd rather copy-paste their password in).

That's pretty typical of the "behold the technology of tomorrow!"-type of concept that never happens cause no one actually wants it, like voice recognition-everything, videophones, video mail or typing e-mails from your living room on your TV set. The problem is that all that's come out of this contest destined to proving the potential of this new keyboard thingie isn't the solution to any problem, or any sort of desirable improvement on anything, which seems to invalidate the merits of the keyboard technology in question. In other words, so what's this thing good for?

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687363)

the whole password thing makes me think of something i saw here a long time ago.

step 3: Damn it, it doesn't work.

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

lien_meat (1126847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687471)

I see a far greater problem than this especially with the password app. Suppose they start putting these keyboards on laptops and other devices, or different models of the keyboard are made. Say you need to type your password and you have a different keyboard then the one you usually use...or even the keyboard starts to wear out... What then? Certainly this technology isn't ready for anything but desktop apps, as there would be no way to tap into how the person typed the password into a web app. I don't know, it doesn't seem like a good idea for passwords, since the devices performance in sure to change over time, whereas your typing may not, OR it may, which is a problem too, especially if you are injured, like when I broke my right hand middle finger a couple months ago...

On other stuff, that doesnt' have to do with passwords, there still is the problem of the keyboard wearing out or your typing changing, which suddenly renders any computer learning techniques broken...

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688449)

like when I broke my right hand middle finger a couple months ago...

Didn't I tell you to stop flipping off muscle-bound freaks?

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (3, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687569)

The best boss I ever had (hi, Carl!) had a question he would ask about any proposed new tech: "What is the problem for which this is the solution?"

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689507)

videophones, video mail

Yes, because absolutely [wikipedia.org] nobody [wikipedia.org] could [wikipedia.org] see [wikipedia.org] the [wikipedia.org] interest [wikipedia.org] .

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690131)

When's the last time you gave your mom a videocall? Also that's something I find very interesting about webcams, you would have thought that it would be used for like a video phone, when in reality most people use it to do a "look at me while I'm doing random stuff at my computer" type of thing. You can't deny that that whole videophone thing really didn't go as expected 20 years ago.

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690177)

I don't know about my mother since she tends to be rather schizo about tech (can handle dos and pre-gui unix fine, turns into computer stupidities material when a gui gets involved like the windows machines she has to use at work), and she lives three doors down, but I've done it on a regular basis for the last few weeks with my boyfriend because I happen to be part of the niche who does think that stuff is useful - I agree it hasn't taken the world by storm, but it does fulfill an existing need, just not one that most of the population has.

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689591)

In other words, so what's this thing good for?

The most obvious usage is for working with music on a laptop.
It would be nice to have this technology while away from home, like sitting in an airport and wanting to kill some time.
Today I have to lug around a NanoKey [korg.com] in order to have a pressure-sensitive keyboard when I don't have access to my midi-keyboard.
It's roughly the size of a laptop keyboard, uses the same kind of button mechanics but adds pressure sensitivity.

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690147)

The best usage is playing piano on a laptop keyboard? You mean, those things that have like 1 millimetre of travel and that have a really awful layout for playing music? lol :D

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689599)

I type e-mails in my living room on my digital projector ... but only sometimes because I don't like to burn out the bulb for trivial stuff that I could do on my LCD monitor. Does that count?

Re:None of these are ever going to happen (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690159)

I type e-mails from my cell phone, through VNC, onto my Mac, on Facebook. I think that among us (on /.) you'll find everything. I'm sure you can find someone who types e-mail on a C64, through SSH to a remote FreeBSD machine by telneting onto an SMTP server.

PS2 and pressure sensitivity (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29687269)

PS2 controllers had this functionality for years, but to my memory only really Metal Gear Solid made full use of it. Maybe this keyboard is more attuned or something, but I'm skeptical that people will make use of the technology.

Re:PS2 and pressure sensitivity (1)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687353)

Games could sure use it. In particular, driving with WASD. No one should let friends drive WASD.

Re:PS2 and pressure sensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29687485)

Psy-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy also used pressure sensitivity very effectively. You could use telekinesis on objects in the level, and the harder you pressed the button, the higher the object would float.

Re:PS2 and pressure sensitivity (1)

lothos (10657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688875)

Grand Theft Auto and other games made use of it, as well.

Re:PS2 and pressure sensitivity (1)

dsavi (1540343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689745)

They seriously did? Another reason to dump these newfangled USB keyboards. All I can think of is how useful a pressure-sensitive mouse would be in graphics. It would be a cheap alternative to a tablet, if you had a really steady hand.

A practical application for Heelblazer typing (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687879)

Typing up email replies with boxing gloves on.

Although you don't really need the tech to hit the delete key!

Better game control approach (1)

Tibia1 (1615959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29687949)

In this video [youtube.com] a game control approach is shown. They should instead use the direction keys' sensitivity values to determine derive a ratio between to keys, and use it to determine the direction. So if I push up twice as hard as I am pushing left, (up=2 left=1) then I will go at tan(angle) = 2/1, or in other words, closer to the up direction. You could have seperate keys for speed. Also, has the idea for a pressure sensitive mouse been made?

BBBBBBAAAAADDDDDD IDDDDDEEEEEAAAAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29688189)

I have heavy fingers.

The future (3, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688307)

Ah, so the future of pressure sensitive keyboards is gimmicks. Good to know.

security update (2, Funny)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29688313)

I can't wait till I see a password policy that says "Please remember passwords are case sensitive, and must be accurate to .02 newtons per key"

Re:security update (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689715)

Authentication not by energy, but typing speed and style:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystroke_dynamics [wikipedia.org]
http://stage1.biopassword.com/pdfs/BP_102306a.pdf [biopassword.com]

I guess that if the energy and the intensity of keystrokes are also recorded, it will definitely strengthen the profiling.

I'm Thinking.. (1)

fan of lem (1092395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689193)

Rhythm-based passwords which is also velocity-sensitive. Nice, password complexity determined by how good of a percussionist you are!

Re:I'm Thinking.. (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689267)

Rhythm-based passwords which is also velocity-sensitive. Nice, password complexity determined by how good of a percussionist you are!

like.. Motorola phones have the rhythm sensitive service programming password. You have no idea how hard it is to get people to enter a password on their phone with rhythm...

Surprised (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689319)

I'm surprised none of the proposals include use as a musical controller. Maybe because its not a velocity detector, but pressure sensitivity under each key? Man this is kind of a stupid idea. Typical M$. Seems like people run the company with a logitech remote. It seems obvious to me that after the initial key depression, knowing the speed during depression is more useful than the pressure after contact. I mean in interfacing this is like a dual function trigger. A single trigger that can produce 2 events, or an event with an associated property time stamp on the first.

Don't get me wrong, people would use this musically for vibrato, or doing queer techno tricks with filters. But for tapping out beats and even for a virtual golf game, the velocity would be better to have than a finger staying on a key and pressing harder....is M$ really that stupid? Unless you can get velocity from a short bit of pressure at the beginning. Velocity pads have been around for so long. Pressure detectors must be more expensive to make useful. All you need for velocity is an extra contact - 2 per key, with one elevated. Time between contacts, curve to velocity. On a musical keyboard velocity is used 90% of the time, with pressure used maybe 5%, and fixed no sensitivity of anything about 5%.

Innovation? (1)

atilla filiz (1402809) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690027)

This keyboards might be a good implementation, but seriously, is there anyone here who didn't think about this before? I had this idea since I was 12(that was in 1996), after learning that there is a thing called analog joystick.

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