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Touchpad Meets Morphing Keyboard

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the pure-awesome dept.

Input Devices 85

Several sources are reporting on the new offering from the British firm Pelikon which combines a touchpad and morphing keyboard into a unique little device. "This isn't just any old morphing keyboard, you see. Not only can the board be dynamically reconfigured by backlighting different portions of the keys — the entire surface of the thing doubles as a touchpad, which you can probably imagine has virtually limitless utility in a mobile device where the space for a true touchpad simply doesn't exist. Pelikon already works with Toshiba on its domestic-market Biblio, but we'd love to see it hit devices around the world — in fact, we wouldn't really mind if they just released this prototype they're showing as a Bluetooth accessory. diNovo Mini competitor, anyone?"

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The only question is... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31317344)

How will they use this for porn?

Re:The only question is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31318644)

How do you think? You'll see a naked person of your preference on the keypad, and when you press certain areas on its body it will moan and squirm.

Alternatively you could define keys to quickly enter your desired combination of fetish terms for that day to quickly fill in search fields.

Re:The only question is... (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320942)

The girl at the end of the video had really great lips. What was the video about again???

Interesting (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317406)

This thing seems really cool, and perhaps I'm just being stupid here, but...I can't really think of any practical application for this. I know there are probably dozens, but I honestly can't think of any.

Anyone want to kick my Monday-rattled brain?

Re:Interesting (5, Interesting)

viking099 (70446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317584)

HTPC input device would be something I would like.

I don't like trackballs, and keeping a big keyboard floating around the living room sucks.

It's not like you need a keyboard for 90% of the time you're using an HTPC, but that 10% is usually sort of critical, and using an on screen keyboard is barely above an exercise in futility.

So if it goes up for ~$80, I might buy it just to get rid of the keyboard and mouse setup I have in my living room.

Re:Interesting (5, Interesting)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317642)

A wireless version would make an awesome home theater control device - especially if it could be programmed to morph to match the service you're using at the moment. It would be neat to have it change automatically from a video remote, to a game pad, to audio control w/ EQ, to keyboard for email and social media, to slider for lighting control, etc.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31317772)

With class II bluetooth you could use it from across the house.

Re:Interesting (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318566)

I think what you describe is fairly common. I've seen high-end remote controls that were programmable LCD touch-screens. I saw these 10 years ago with B&W LCDs.

Re:Interesting (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31319116)

I find touch-screen devices suck as remotes, as you generally need to look at the device to accurately position your finger over specific controls.

It's annoying for doing such mundane things like fast-forwarding through commercials, for example.

Re:Interesting (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31319542)

+1 Agree

I have a generic programmable remote with a couple of hard-buttons and a biggish touch LCD. As with the topical device, each key is fixed in size and location but can vary in function. The hard-buttons are fine, but I keep wanting to overlay some form of grid to help my sense the key boundaries (but I never get around to doing anything about it).

Re:Interesting (1)

azmodean+1 (1328653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330726)

"fast-forwarding"... "commercials"... I seem to vaguely remember dealing with these concepts in my youth, I thought we had moved past such user-unfriendly concepts years ago.

Re:Interesting (1)

Tobywashere (1756946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318892)

LogiTech's TouchPad app for the iPhone does this really nicely - no more wireless or on-screen keyboard for me!

Re:Interesting (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31322690)

Hey that's pretty cool!

Re:Interesting (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31319168)

There's been remote control software for years like that for Pocket PCs with infrared output. It wouldn't be a stretch to add Bluetooth, if they haven't already. It really makes sense on Pocket PCs with larger displays, like my iPAQ hx4700 (4", 640x480). Why spend hundreds on that top-of-the-line Logitech Harmony when the same can get you a device that can do other stuff when you're not on the couch?

Re:Interesting (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323306)

That sounds like an iPod touch plus an app. And I wouldn't be surprised if the app already exists.

Re:Interesting (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317892)

Ah yes, that would indeed be a perfect use for this thing. Thank you!

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31318604)

Just get a Sky+ remote and an IR detector for your HTPC. Front has the typical controls, including some that deal with time-shifting etc. It opens up into a full qwerty keyboard for when you need that. Remote should only cost about 20 dollars, IR receiver perhaps 40.

Re:Interesting (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320010)

That would be cool. Unfortunately they're not planning on selling it to you or me. They're only selling it to mobile phone manufacturers.

Re:Interesting (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321900)

I'm sure they could be persuaded if there were a market for it. Once they've developed the thing it makes sense for them to find as many applications for it a possible.

Re:Interesting (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317912)

It seems to me like a cellphone-sized Optimus Maximus ( I can see a lot more use for the full-size keyboard than for a cellphone version though.

Maybe to provide a phone with most of the user interface flexibility of an iPhone without sacrificing tactile feedback?

Re:Interesting (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318666)

Yea, I see a Sad end to the Optimus Maximus keyboars. Too Little, Too Expensive, Too Late. The normal keyboard will probably still have a long life, as it is cheap and people know how to use it. For people who need something more configurable they will use the multi-touch displays. For the most people who know how to type do not necessarily look at their keyboard anyways. So the value of the Optimus keyboard is very small.

Re:Interesting (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318686)

This is way too small of a keyboard to faceroll

Re:Interesting (2, Interesting)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317970)

I think it would be even more useful if it offered an LCD (OLED perhaps?) screen instead of "just" a keyboard (Although it would negatively effect battery life). Then imagine the possibilities. You could configure it as a keyboard, as a "mouse", or even as a dedicated input panel (think something analogous to a Point Of Sale keyboard, where you can use icons instead of just "keys"). I would personally be able to find uses on a desktop, laptop and a cellphone (Although I don't think I'd carry around a second input device for my cellphone)...

So if you're in presentation mode (Paired with PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress), it could switch to having 5 or 6 buttons (Prev Slide, Next Slide, Exit, etc) instead of --just-- using mouse gestures or keyboard interaction.

Re:Interesting (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320764)

That device already exists. It's called the "iPhone". It makes calls as well. It just doesn't have that stupid grid on it, so that you can actually read stuff on its screen. I predict this "iPhone" will be popular once more people hear of it.

Re:Interesting (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321070)

Why would I want to make phone calls from my keyboard? Oh, and the "stupid grid" lets my fingers know which button I'm pressing without having to look at it (a crazy little thing called tactile feedback).

Re:Interesting (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318124)

nah, I was thinking this too. Really if you have a touchpad/keyboard, you're going to have issues of functionality as both of those have entirely separate methods of input. Trying to combine them means one of them is going to have to compromise. in this case, it's a flat panel as opposed to an actual small keyboard.

So my thoughts were that it just isn't realistic. lots of hubbub, and that's it.

Neat! (2, Interesting)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317444)

One step closer to the death of our current, inefficient control devices? I like the idea of devices that morph to fit the domain of the program they are controlling. On the other hand, this isn't that much different from a touch-screen emulating a keyboard... probably more sturdy, though.

Hopefully, one more (prototypical) nail in the coffin of windowing systems and carpal tunnel inducing interface devices.

Re:Neat! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31317694)

I like the idea of devices that morph to fit the domain of the program they are controlling.

I detect one thing that will completely spoil any good that may become of this. Two words: average users. If you can't get them to use malware scanners and if you can't convince them that opening binaries found in emails sent by random strangers is a terrible idea, best of luck explaining how to morph a keyboard to fit the program domain.

Idiots have killed many more worthy ideas. Here, "idiot" means someone who is literate yet refuses to RTFM.

Re:Neat! (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31319942)

indeed, but computers once fell into the category of 'to complex for stupid people' as well.

Sure some still can't use them, but obviously the computer is going strong.

Re:Neat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323792)

Today my previous team leader described a story from his weekend where someone from "Microsoft" phoned him up to ask if his computer was going slowly. Whilst apparently a bit suspicious he gladly let them walk through installing something like Logmein onto his computer and then asked him for his password so they could "clean up his computer". Only when they eventually got round to asking for his address (something to do with sending him the bill) was he suspicious enough to stop talking to them and "disconnect" from their software. don't get me wrong, i knew he was retarded anyway, i just wanted to share the "average user" story because it was so fresh in my mind. i expect a text from him in the next week or two to ask me to fix it. i use a lot of annoying quotes because i'm a little retarded too.

Re:Neat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31322976)

Hopefully, one more (prototypical) nail in the coffin of windowing systems and carpal tunnel inducing interface devices.

What does this have to do with carpal tunnel? I thought carpal tunnel was caused by repetitive use and not their orientation. I don't see piano players developing carpal tunnel even though their hands are in the same orientation as a keyboard. I'm thinking that's because they don't do it for 8 hours or more a day.

  Mobile touchscreens and such will just lead to a new type of injury. We can call it Chronic Masturbator's Thumb. Add to that the bad posture and neck related problems because constantly looking down at a device is from from a natural orientation.

Fingerworks (4, Interesting)

MacFury (659201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317512)

This looks like an evolution of what FingerWorks was building before being purchased by Apple. Fingerworks multitouch technology led to the iPhone, macbook multitouch trackpad, etc. Their Frogpad product: []

Re:Fingerworks (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317972)

I picked up a left hand version one of those when I was entering a lot of numbers and needed the mouse at the same time. It worked really well for that application and I believe it would work great for standard typing if I took the time to learn the layout properly...

Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (2, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317538)

This seems really neat and all. However...

I have experience with two laptops. One had a touchpad, the other had both a touchpad and a trackpoint.

When I only had a touch pad, I carried around an external mouse (well, trackball; Logitech Marble Mouse to be exact)---and I dreaded the times where I'd forget to bring it along and have to use the touch pad. With my current laptop which has a track point, I don't even think about whether I should bring along an external mouse---the track point works great and it's more convenient to not have to plug anything in. [and with edge scrolling and infinitely wide edges, the touchpad now works as a "scroll pad".]

Granted, it the touchpad-only laptop was el cheapo and perhaps the touch pad wasn't the greatest. But still---track points are really great input devices (at least the one I have), and they're small enough to fit on practically speaking anything.

So why bother with turning your keyboard into a touchpad? I imagine the user might trace a vertical line, intending to move the mouse around, but the device going "oh, r-f-v-space, what an interesting key combo." Or the user pawing and poking the keys somewhat less than straight, and the device not picking up on it. It seems... with my experience of touchpads, this seems like it could be dangerously full of fail and meh.

(my $cents = 2)

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317596)

I actually preferred a touch point to a mouse for productivity tasks when I a laptop that had one. Not having to take your fingers off the keys is a nice feature and with a little bit of practice can be nearly as fast as using a mouse. It's remarkably hard to find a low cost laptop with a touch point though, most people just don't like them.

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31317962)

and with a little bit of practice can be nearly as fast as using a mouse.

Am I the only person who thought, 'With enough practice sword-chucks can be nearly as dangerous to your opponent as they are to yourself,' when I read this?

Also, am I the only person that thinks this thing looks like an iPhone type touch interface with a non-flat screen? Can you actually push the keys in or is it just what I think it is?

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318362)

my only problem with Track Points is that 90% of them don't have the ability to do acceleration (harder you push it the faster it moves).. so i always feel like i'm waiting for the cursor to get where i want it - and if you just knock the sensitivity up to make it faster you lose precision

the lenovo x200's have really nice track points - but they have to as they removed the touch pad

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323854)

Best non laptop keyboard made is the IBM type m with the touchpoint, it's proportional and in the correct place to not have to move your hand. You change the little rubbery bit every year or so

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320896)

It's remarkably hard to find a low cost laptop with a touch point though

Damn right, I was just looking for one, but the cheapest laptops with touch points are some horrendously overpriced Lenovos. I know they're good but they're not "50% more expensive"-good.

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317696)

What is your problem with the touch pad :) ?

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318006)

The only intuitive interface is the nipple. :) []

Seriously though, my problem with the touchpad is by default they are set to also dual-task as buttons e.g. "tap to click". And often it's hard to turn that off (e.g. relevant driver/software not installed).

You could be moving the mouse pointer about then it clicks on something instead of moves. Or you could be dragging something about and then it drops in the wrong place.

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (1)

theJML (911853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31319138)

I can honestly say I've never had that problem. The Touchpad just seems SO much more intuitive than the nipple mouse. In my book I try to imagine a world where that thing never existed. I have two think pads with only the touch point (They were given to me) and I pretty much always have to carry a mouse around if I want to use it for more than the simplest tasks.

The multiple defined areas and sensitivity of the touch pad make it an indispensable tool to me, and the newer it is, the better and better they've become with detecting erroneous inputs (which I rarely have, but know people who do). The T23 I have has a 3rd button for scrolling (push the button and the trackpad pans/scrolls the page instead of moving the cursor) and that's sorta handy, but to me it's not as intuitive as the side of the trackpad. At least it's a start though the x40 I have does NOT have it and it's quite a bit newer. It's quite a pain to have to move the trackpoint to the scroll bar just to move the page down. Especially when I'm running multiple desktops and 'sitting at the right edge of the screen' causes it to flip desktops. The track point is just no where near as accurate.

One of my friends got one of the newer Unibody MBP's with it's push to click touchpad, and I'll have to say, the first thing I had to do was turn on tap-to-click. Physically pushing in the touchpad is a huge step backwards for me, it's clumsy and requires a lot more pressure than I want to continually exert on a random plastic hinge. Luckily Apple provided the tap-to-click setting as well!

Re:Give me a track point (and git offa ma lorn) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31318086)

The problem is that as efficient as trackpoint control is, it takes an hour or so of fumbling and cursing before you can use it properly. As a result, many people never take the plunge, especially now that most laptops have the touchpad as an easier alternative.

a pointing keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323448)

an integrated isotonic pointing keyboard is the best pointing input device there is.

i use one everyday for stock trading.

i can point, click, type, scoll, delete, backspace, and esc all while my fingers are on the home row.

the pointer has the performance of an optical mouse.

twittering as stocktradr

Bah (5, Funny)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317736)

This device is pathetic compared to the Model M. (

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31317862)

In some european countries, the IBM Model M was classified as a lethal weapon.

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31317988)

It also serves as quite an adequate defense tool.

Re:Bah (3, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318152)

Chuck Norris famously used a Model M to end the U.S. Civil War.

Re:Bah (2, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317902)

Don't worry, they make a version for model-M users. It's a three foot wide block of cast pig-iron, and the keys are illuminated with nixie tubes. It can deflect a .50 round without missing a keystroke.

Re:Bah (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31318678)

cast pig-iron

Redundant. Pig iron is what you get when you smelt iron ore. There is no other way to get iron metal. []

Pedantic, yes, but this is an IBM Model M thread.</Sparta!>

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31319546)

Why is it called PIG iron? Is there any pig body parts involved in the process?

How fucking lazy can you be (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320816)

there is a link right in the post your reply is to - with a very concise explanation of the name...

Re:How fucking lazy can you be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31322644)

WTH are you talking about?

Re:Bah (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320060)

I'm pretty sure the Model-M's could survive someone doing their typing via fired .50 rounds ;-)

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31318906)

I love my 1987 model M

Re:Bah (1)

i (8254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321658)

I'm using that one. Both at home and at work.
(Yes, I have to fight to keep the work one everytime they upgrade the PC...)

This would be ace (1)

pancakegeels (673199) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317824)

if Swype supported it.

The mockery of future ages (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31317850)

Maybe it's just me, but I have the distinct feeling that ten or twenty years down the road, input devices like this will be featured in "What Were They Thinking?"-type articles on slow news days.

Of course, those articles will be about five characters long, so as not to tax the attention span of a reading public for whom 140 characters is a feature-length article.

Re:The mockery of future ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31319630)

...and each of those 5 chars will be simultaneously readable as hi-def anglo-chinese phrases and hyper qr codes.

Touch Feedback? (5, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318084)

Maybe its just me but I have a hard time with typing with no feedback. I like feeling where I'm at on a keyboard...

Re:Touch Feedback? (2, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31319590)

Agreed, I hate trying to convince myself that my friends iPhone can figure out which keys I meant to hit, especially the times when it has to wait until the end of the word to fix something. It takes typing from something that I can do by second nature on a couple of different keyboard layouts to something an exercise in trust and patience.

Re:Touch Feedback? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320286)

is ez oyu jhst haev to leafn to ignote sepllng mstales.

Re:Touch Feedback? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323128)

is ez oyu jhst haev to leafn to ignote sepllng mstales.

Posted via my iPhone.


Re:Touch Feedback? (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320498)

Maybe its just me but I have a hard time with typing with no feedback. I like feeling where I'm at on a keyboard...

My father used to say the same thing with computer keyboards as compared to typewriters.
Don't worry the next generation will adjust fine.

Re:Touch Feedback? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320870)

The next reply below summed up my thoughts pretty well. The difference between a computer keyboard and typewriters are how hard you hit the key but you can still tell if you care centered on a key or two keys before you press it. With touch screens you can punch in between two keys and not know until the letters pop up.

Maybe you can learn to respond by visual cues but I tend to catch mistyped letters by feel and if I don't feel it I tend not to even pick up that it was mistyped.

Just my $0.02

Re:Touch Feedback? (1)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321134)

The magic word in OEM land is tactile vibrations. You can use it for feedback, and even have things like a circle drawn on your screen and you can feel it. That said, as a keyboard collector I know it will never get as good as 25 years ago. This is the borderland between typewriters and computers shipped with cheap $5 rubber dome boards, when they didn't yet realize you cannot compete if you ship your computer with a $250 keyboard. It is one of the few technologies which became worse and worse over the years. If you like cars and have lots of money, you can buy a Ferrari. If you like keyboards, uh, not so good. You can only buy cheap chinese cars, some with spoilers and wild lights or designs, but all crappy motors.

Re:Touch Feedback? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31321612)

My (android) phone uses vibrations to provide feedback. You don't know exactly which key you typed, but - to be honest - that's the same with normal keyboards. Of course, with normal keyboards you have the 'f' and 'j' keys together with finger placement to help you type. It's not perfect, but you will know that you hit a key.

needs video-capped keys (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318122)

It needs keys with full-fledged displays under them to be truly useful. Just having a few preset functions printed on the key caps doesn't cut it. Having it feature glidepad functionality only helps if you're ONLY going to have a keypad; any time you have enough space for a keyboard AND a keypad, you have room for a glidepad.

Re:needs video-capped keys (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324414)

you mean one of these badboys? []

Re:needs video-capped keys (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325740)

Yeah, something like that, but with at least 78% less abuse to my... wallet. I want one very much, but there's no way to justify the cost even to myself. Add touchpad functionality to a keypad made like that, though, and that kind of cost-per-key might make a viable product.

Morph? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318144)

I missed the part where it 'morphs'... Do they mean the part where they change the video on the touchscreen? Cuz seriously, that's not 'morphing'.

Somehow, cutting grooves in a touchscreen doesn't excite me.

Re:Morph? (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318504)

I'm glad I'm not the only person thinking this. It looks like either a touchscreen display with some bias towards being an on-screen keyboard, or a reprogrammable mini keyboard. Which are each sort of cool, but not really groundbreaking.

Re:Morph? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31318804)

The fact that it doesn't actually morph is irrelevant. What matters is that when Apple sells it, your "Mighty Morphing Keyboard" looks awesome next to your "Mighty Mouse".

Re:Morph? (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320208)

What you missed is that it is not a touchscreen.

It's a trackpad, that has grooves/ridges for tactile feedback, plus backlighting to indicate state changes for the "buttons" and input mode changes for the device.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31318238)

For the size of it should be wireless... pointless other way, should be able to morf in a remote control (infra-red) / gamepad, etc ... unlimited options ... with a decent flash thing, plus if possible as flexible in programing/customization as physically possible...

setting up a device like that to control a PC now a days should think for future, we don't need another keyboard to play with, hooked to a cable, etc, time for this has long gone, but a device witch could be our remote control for any device in house, plus a mini controller for a media-PC should be OK ... if it can simulate a game pad too, the better :)

PS it doesn't need to be a telephone too :)

This is (1)

riperrin (1310447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318740)

Very similar to the project that I tried to do for my original masters program. I'm glad to see that someone has taken this up as a real product as it is lovely to prove my doubting professors wrong. They provided no help at all and essentially forced me to change my project.
My version differed from this, in that it was the size and dimensions of a full keyboard and was a touch screen, but in essence very similar. Further to that I suggested that full programs could be moved onto the keyboard that where unnecessary on the screen, taking the place of the number pad (which would be on a tab). This could include such things as mp3 players. I think it’ll have massive impact in gaming, although my vision for it way back in 2003 was more about keyboard layouts, but now could include those types of games now enjoyed on the iphone. It’ll also provide a massive change in the way that graphical applications are run. Being able to move photo editing tools onto the keyboard would make the use of screen space far better.

Completely pointless. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31318942)

1. Tiny, tiny, TINY!
2. Non-ergonomic. And never will be.
3. Very limited displaying abilities.
4. Tactile keys not actually morphing at all!

I’ll wait until I can buy a surface as big as a full keyboard, with morphing tactile keys, and a full display surface beneath. For <$200.

Re:Completely pointless. (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320066)

I’ll wait until I can buy a surface as big as a full keyboard, with morphing tactile keys, and a full display surface beneath.

This is for mobile phones. You really want to carry a full-sized keyboard around with you everywhere you go?

They've invented...what? (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 4 years ago | (#31319030)

a touch screen keyboard that can be programatically reconfigured. So they've invented what every smart phone has been using for years? Am I missing something, or is this the lamest thing to get excited about ever?

Re:They've invented...what? (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320784)

That's exactly what I was thinking.

Sony Sixaxis official keyboard related (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31319332)

It has the "part of the surface is a touchpad" thing going.
Admittedly it isn't extremely accurate, but for the sake of browsing on the web browser, it is mostly decent.

The idea of the backlighting is pretty damn nice. It would have worked nicely on the Sixaxis keyboard too since it has those 2 shoulder buttons to switch between keysets.
The key switching section of the video is pretty impressive.

I like this idea, thumbs up all around.
I really hope they sell that prototype design as a version, even with some Bluetooth loving, i'd totally buy it.

I know another king of morphing touch keypad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31319620)

Unfortunately, it's NSFW. Here's the ASCII version: (.)(.).

The PS3 Keypad does this already. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320822)

The PS3 Wireless Keypad [] attachment does this. You can hit a button and use the key surface as a touchpad.

Frankly, it's not that useful on the PS3. Even when web browsing, I mostly use the analog sticks to move things around. But it's cute for a while.

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