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CES: Another Chording Keyboard Hits the Market (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year and a half ago | from the we-love-all-inventors-no-matter-what dept.

Hardware 101

Wayne Rasanen's Decatxt chording keyboard may be new and exciting to him, and he says has a patent on it so apparently the USPTO found it novel and original, but it's not the first chording keyboard by many long shots. The idea has been around (at least) since 1968. And let's not forget Braille chording keyboards, as described in a 1992 IEEE paper. And if you have an iPhone and want to experiment with a virtual Braille chording keyboard, there's an app for that. Maybe we're just jaded. Or maybe we've known a lot of blind people who used one-handed Braille chording keyboards to type as fast with one hand as a sighted person using a QWERTY keyboard and two hands. So it's hard for us to get excited about a chording keyboard. Be that as it may, we wish Wayne Rasanen all the luck in the world as he brings his invention to market.

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101 comments

Ok... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672173)

So then if it's not novel or interesting why the post about it other than to give this person advertising?

Re:Ok... (3, Funny)

cristiroma (606375) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672423)

I've spent the last 30 minutes looking for a video of someone actually USING this stuff instead of just explaining the layout. Guess what? Nada ... I say crap!

Re:Ok... (1)

noh8rz9 (2716595) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673691)

I thought of this idea like 10 years ago. where's my cut of the action?

Re:Ok... (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42678893)

So then if it's not novel or interesting why the post about it other than to give this person advertising?

Because nobody else at the show wanted to be interviewed by Slashdot. Cheap wannabe journos need cheap wannabe entrepreneurs for their interviews.

Moral of the story: Slashdot: ditch the videos.

That must hurt (5, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672181)

It really doesn't look comfortable to use. Must be awesome to develop RSI with.
With a little bit of practice you can easily use a normal keyboard without looking at it all the time.

Re:That must hurt (4, Insightful)

myxiplx (906307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672363)

Yup, that looks about as ergonomic as a medieval rack, and with a simple linear set of letter combinations and no apparent thought gone in to making them easy to use.

The Agenda micro writer my baby sister had back in the 1990's was light years ahead of this.

Re:That must hurt (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672629)

Exactly. Your most common letters should be on the strongest fingers. For right handed English speakers, that means the right index finger should be E, not A; and the right middle finger should be T, not B.

Re:That must hurt (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673239)

I don't think it is a big deal. I mean most of us write rather quickly on a QWERTY keyboard, which by design was to slow people down... However once they got use to it they type just as fast as with any other layout. For myself the speed of my typing isn't about my hands knowing the letters but figuring out how to spell the words. Although I do have a learning disability in writing, that slows me down more then most. but still with modern typist the speed of typing is nearly as fast as you can think the words out... I can normally type faster then it would take me to speak it out clearly. Without sounding like transformers Blur.

Re:That must hurt (4, Informative)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673837)

... QWERTY keyboard, which by design was to slow people down...

This is a common myth, [straightdope.com] and totally fabricated.

Re:That must hurt (2)

Roman Coder (413112) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674335)

Ok, so I've read that article twice, and I don't see where it disproves the 'myth' that the original QWERTY keyboard was laid out in a way to prevent the keys from sticking on the 1st gen typewriters. It talks about disproving that Dvorak keyboard layout is better, but didn't see anything about the jamming keys myth busted.

I'm nursing a coffee from a night of no sleep, so maybe its just me, but if you could point me to the relevant text that its been proven to be a myth?

Re:That must hurt (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674751)

The myth isn't about jamming keys. That did happen, and the layout was designed to reduce jams. The myth is actually that it achieves this by slowing typing down. The qwerty layout moves characters that are often typed in sequence to be as far away from each other across the arc of swing arms on a typewriter. This allows faster typing, because the heads are in range to crash for a shorter time.

Re:That must hurt (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675687)

Slowing down typing was, in fact, one possible method of preventing the typebars from colliding. The other was, of course, laying the keys out in such a way that the ones most commonly struck back-to-back are as far away from each other as possible. Wouldn't it actually be faster to hit two keys that are nearby (ie. H and U) in quick succession than if those keys were, for example, the QWERTY layout's Q and N keys? I think so. Back when QWERTY was invented, there was no such thing as touch typing... hunt and pecking with a couple of fingers was the most people could do. That doesn't mean there were no talented people who could type fast, though.

I finally found out about alternate layouts late last year and learned the whole point of the Dvorak keyboard, and sometime in early December I decided to make the switch myself. The first two to three weeks were hell (3-5 WPM on the first week FTW!), but it got much better and more fun after that. Even before I got out of my state of total confusion, it was already feeling so much better typing that I decided right there I no longer care about my QWERTY ability. Now, I'm just getting my muscle memory back up to speed, and getting there slowly... but still, it feels like a dream typing on Dvorak even at about 75% of my previous average speed.

Re:That must hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42679317)

Dvorak is great for English typing people because the layout was designed for optimal finger travel when typing in English. Even if your real speed is slower in Dvorak, your fingers will travel a shorter distance to type in English.

Re:That must hurt (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42680647)

Back when QWERTY was invented, there was no such thing as touch typing... hunt and pecking with a couple of fingers was the most people could do. That doesn't mean there were no talented people who could type fast, though.
That is not correct.
Blind typing was invented as early as the typewriter was.

Re:That must hurt (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681959)

Do you have the same definition of touch typing that I do?

Resting four fingers of each hand on the proper home keys in the home row, moving them as needed to hit other keys, and returning them back to their home positions? That is the proper method of touch typing.

Or is "blind typing" typing using *any* method with your eyes closed?

QWERTY: Patent filed 1867. Patent sold to Remington in 1873. Became popular with the success of the Remington No. 2 of 1878.

Touch typing: "Frank Edward McGurrin, a court stenographer from Salt Lake City, Utah who taught typing classes, reportedly invented touch typing in 1888."
and...
"Frank Edward McGurrin, a court stenographer from Salt Lake City who taught typing classes, reportedly invented touch typing. On July 25, 1888, McGurrin, who was reportedly the only person using touch typing at the time, won a decisive victory over Louis Traub (operating Caligraph with eight-finger method) in a typing contest held in Cincinnati. The results were displayed on the front pages of many newspapers. McGurrin won US$500 (equivalent to $11,400 in 2007 USD) and popularized the new typing method."

I didn't feel like scouring the web for all this information again so I just went to the Wikipedia articles for QWERTY and touch typing, but I have seen these basic facts repeated at several sites through Google searches. But the fact is, no matter what small changes or interpretations of the story you might find from article to article, the dates don't lie. The QWERTY layout was not designed for touch typing, and the various other facts on its design back this up. I have yet to see an article that says touch typing existed before the QWERTY layout... remember, that's the layout that popularized typewriters in the first place, being the layout that the first successful typewriters used. Advanced typing techniques can't just be discovered without a keyboard to figure them out on.

Re:That must hurt (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685407)

I did not say that QWERTY was invented for touch typing. I said touch typing was "invented", if you want to call it like that, around the same time. And you proved that ... or is a mere 10 years difference not "around the same time"?

Also I doubt that "Frank Edward McGurrin" was the first and only one "inventing" touch typing. I guess others simply made no fuss about it.

Re:That must hurt (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685883)

Fair enough... a decade or maybe a decade and a half later, depending on time you go by. From what you said:

"Blind typing was invented as early as the typewriter was."

That sounded as if you meant "at the same time." Same time period, yeah, but at least a decade later. Either way, that's a decent amount of time, but after a couple of centuries I guess it doesn't seem like much.

Re:That must hurt (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42680631)

Linking to a fancy written article makes your claim not right ;D
OFC your parent is right.

Did you ever write on an original type writer? If you had, you had no doubts.

target market (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672183)

Why go into business to make a product that targets like 0.0001% of the market? In my office there are only like three people who can type without looking at their keyboard.

Re:target market (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672235)

In my office there are only like three people who can type without looking at their keyboard.

I really hope that there are only about 5 people in your office, or else it seems like your company is employing morons.

Re:target market (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672425)

Hundreds of people in my office.

Re:target market (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672655)

Your company needs to send folks on a touch typing course, then, because hundreds of people hunt-and-peck typing is wasting all sorts of man-hours of time.

Re:target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672605)

In my office there are only like three people who can type without looking at their keyboard.

I really hope that there are only about 5 people in your office, or else it seems like your company is employing morons.

You must be a happy person. Certain things just doesn't come easy to everyone. I'm not a 10 finger typist on a QWERTY keyboard and never will be due to limitations to how I can control my fingers. Same reason I can't play a guitar. There is no chance in hell I'll be able to use that "keyboard" demonstrated above.

Re:target market (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673907)

You must be a happy person. Certain things just doesn't come easy to everyone. I'm not a 10 finger typist on a QWERTY keyboard and never will be due to limitations to how I can control my fingers. Same reason I can't play a guitar. There is no chance in hell I'll be able to use that "keyboard" demonstrated above.

So what? You are not typical, and have an impairment that would affect use of any keyboard.

That in no way invalidates the point the GP was making, namely that having only three people out of five who can type with more than one finger without watching the keyboard would be about the most any company could accept and still be profitable and functional. In this day and age, just about every grade school child learns to type. My mom forced me to take typing in JR High, back in the 60's when it was pretty uncool and unusual to see anything but girls in such a class.

Touch typing with all fingers and no eyes is an essential skill these days. I wouldn't hire a janitor who couldn't do it, let alone an office worker.

Re:target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675943)

Touch typing with all fingers and no eyes is an essential skill these days. I wouldn't hire a janitor who couldn't do it, let alone an office worker.

You wouldn't even hire a fucking janitor if he can't type with his eyes closed? Discriminating assholes just like you are just one of the prime examples of why it's so hard to get a job--any job--these days.

Re:target market (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42676391)

Exactly.

Even Janitors have to prepare supply requisitions, post their hours on the computer, fill in repair request forms for failed equipment etc.
Stay in school, son. Stay in school.

Re:target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42676585)

What are you talking about? Certainly not forms with pull-down menus and simple time entry sections where you enter the time with the numeric keypad (or drop down menus). Sounds like you're talking about writing a god damn essay.

Re:target market (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42677427)

Would you discriminate against people who are completely incapable of touch typing the standard QWERTY layout, yet could type on a Dvorak keyboard or some other minority layout?

Re:target market (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42677519)

No, I'd spring for the Dvorak. As long as they don't waste my time hunting and pecking.

Re:target market (3, Funny)

Jaktar (975138) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673811)

I really hope that there are only about 5 people in your office, or else it seems like your company is employing morons.

Yeah. All those people who can't type are such morons. They're just as bad as the people who don't compile their own stuff from source. It's just so easy and useful in everyday life.

Re:target market (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672311)

Is that you Bruce?

Re:target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672373)

In my office there are only like three people who can type without looking at their keyboard.

I really hope you mean "who **can't** type without looking"...

Re:target market (0)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673947)

No, sadly he means CAN type without looking. In other words he works with idiots, or the primary function of his office is limited to rubber stamping and filing.

Re:target market (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672379)

The market is smartphones, whether they realize it or not. Put the key sensors on the back of the phone so that you can type text much more quickly. I've been wondering for the last 5 years why nobody has done this.

4:52 of video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672607)

WTFV. It's at 4:52 in the video

Re:4:52 of video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673255)

RMFC. I had watched it and seen that (which should have been clear to you, since I mentioned an implementation detail that's not shown in this article), but if you'll notice, that's not the primary use case they're discussing. It should be. Forget accessibility or people who can't type with two hands. Either make an add-on for phones or try to get the technology licensed.

Re:target market (2)

silverhalide (584408) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672491)

Do you work at the DMV?

Re:target market (3, Insightful)

PoolOfThought (1492445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673375)

Why go into business to make a product that targets like 0.0001% of the market?

That's like asking why the company that made "spinner" rims decided to go into business (or branch out into) with a product that only appealed to a small group of people. Especially when only a small group of them could afford them. The "market" wasn't everyone with a car... it was everyone with a car who wanted to look cool sitting at a stoplight and had money they were willing to allocate toward that purpose. The bonus is that there was very little competition (partially because the market is so small). WAY SMALL MARKET, but still tons of money to be made if the premium / markup is sufficiently high.

You probably consider "the market" to be "all people that use keyboards at all". But that's not true for him just like the market for spinners isn't everyone that has a car. He likely considers the market to be a very specific subset of computer users, and therefore his product actually targets 100% of "the market" as he's defined it. His pricing also demonstrates that he knows his market is tiny. A keyboard can be had for $10, but his is priced at between $70 and $100 per sale. It's not because it's novel, it's because he had to have that price to actually make any money in the small market he's chosen.

Just had a look at the Decatxt keyboard... (4, Funny)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672213)

Man, that thing looks like it was sent directly from Hell by Satan himself.

As such, it would become the mandatory input device for Windows 8.. and Unity.

Re:Just had a look at the Decatxt keyboard... (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672705)

Holy crap. I was expecting something that looked somewhat like a steno keyboard, not a freaking Bop It game. It looks painfully ergo-not-ic. Also, expect Google Chrome to require it soon after Windows 8, followed by Firefox chasing right behind.

Re:Just had a look at the Decatxt keyboard... (1)

wordsnyc (956034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673007)

Wow. It's like Gnome 3 for keyboards. On the bright side, it will now be possible to drop your keyboard in the toilet.

Re:Just had a look at the Decatxt keyboard... (2)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673065)

On the bright side, it will now be possible to drop your keyboard in the toilet.

Possible? More like mandatory.

Somebody pissed in the editor's Corn Flakes (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672223)

Wow...no need to be nasty.

There may have been many chording keyboards on the market over the past decades, but clearly nobody has really gotten the design right. There's plenty of demand in the industrial/commercial/warehouse/field work markets for good one-handed data entry. Nothing has stuck.

This guy is trying. Maybe he has figured out the magicsauce. He probably hasn't. Either way, there's no need for Slashdot editors to be total dicks about it.

Re:Somebody pissed in the editor's Corn Flakes (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672279)

good one-handed data entry. Nothing has stuck.

What? Classic 10key. Only works for numbers and arithmetic. I suppose if you switch to octal input...

One handed data entry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672615)

Hold Nexus 7 up to mouth (with one hand).
Then speak "what is the distance to the moon"

Re:One handed data entry (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672727)

Why stop there? I just had a vision of a kiss-based interface... after all, if five fingers are easier than ten fingers, two lips have to be even easier yet! Hooray for the KISS principle! And just think of where the porn industry could go from there!

Re:One handed data entry (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673321)

Unfortunately my experience with "alternative" user interfaces such as my phone's shitty voice recognition, xbox shitty voice recognition, my cell phone's little postage stamp size touch keyboard vs my ring bologna finger tips means a bit error rate close to 10e-1 and everything takes 10 times as long as a keyboard. This post would probably take about an hour to input vs about a minute at 75 wpm or whatever typing.

So "what is the distance to the moon" is far more likely to start playing pink floyds dark side of the moon, or find me the wikipedia article about people mooning the camera (assuming the deletionist a-holes haven't removed it), or think "moon" is a cow moo-ing and google image search me pictures of cows or just pick some random german name in my contact list and call them or some shit like that.

Hopefully a Braille keyboard actually works and doesn't just output random stuff like modern input devices.

Re:Somebody pissed in the editor's Corn Flakes (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672479)

Either way, there's no need for Slashdot editors to be total dicks about it.

Right, that just takes away the fun for the Slashdot commenters.

Re:Somebody pissed in the editor's Corn Flakes (1)

MrBandersnatch (544818) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672875)

Nobody had got the design right because it is a bad idea - high learning cure for proficiency, slow data input speed (even for proficient users), poor ergonomics, etc etc.

Is there really the demand? I ask because I developed a potential solution to this problem as a part of my masters with a "natural" in-air cursive writing system - sadly limitations of what I could do with a few hundred quid of funding and a packet of polymorph meant that my hardware only just about worked but was an interesting "proof of concept"....You've now wondering made me wonder if its worth looking for some kickstarter funding though....

Re:Somebody pissed in the editor's Corn Flakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673069)

I want to dual wield keyboard/mouse rather than spec two handed keyboard and still be forced into weapon switching to mouse all the time like a noob. Is this so hard to understand?

Re:Somebody pissed in the editor's Corn Flakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42705495)

And he seemed like a nice guy at the booth. Still, glad to get the concept out there. Unfortunately too many people look at what is and say its bad rather than look at what it means and see the good.

What a crappy writeup (-1, Offtopic)

chispito (1870390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672237)

If you're that unenthusiastic about it, why did you post this?

Now a word from our sponsors... (-1, Troll)

dloolb (159254) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672253)

Wonder how much this ad space went for?

How good can it be? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672287)

The damned web site won't work; none of the links are active. I don't know if it needs flash, java, javascript, or some other tech I've blocked from my browser, but at any rate if the site sucks that bad, how can the item it's selling not suck?

Re:How good can it be? (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672437)

You're supposed to run your hand over the mousepad when you visit that site not look at the monitor.

(Yup looks like I'm going to hell now)

Don't bother complaining about patents... (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672375)

...unless you're going to at least bother to track down the patent in question and link to it, so we can decide for ourselves whether anything in it is interesting. I would guess there is more to it than just the basic idea of chording.

Re:Don't bother complaining about patents... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672641)

Google Patent search returned this on the inventor's name:
http://www.google.com/patents/US6542091

Not sure what's worse: (0)

Bieeanda (961632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672393)

The fact that neither the pitchman nor the hands on the monitor were actually demonstrating the keyboard in a meaningful capacity...

Or the suggestion that installing the thing on a steering wheel could improve driving safety. Seriously, what? A distraction is a distraction, and if you're texting away in traffic, you're fucking distracted.

braille keyboard (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672411)

Maybe we're just jaded. Or maybe we've known a lot of blind people who used one-handed Braille chording keyboards to type as fast with one hand as a sighted person using a QWERTY keyboard and two hands.

OK I'll bite how does that work? I know the braille system is 2x3 grid aka 6 bits ... and you claim there is a one handed keyboard, so I'm optimistically giving you 4 fingers and a thumb. In between I wonder how the protocol encoding works. It would be a heck of a lot simple if we had 7 or so fingers on each hand, or braille was just merely morse code. If I were inventing my own system I'd totally use two hands and one bit for pointer, middle, and ring fingers on each finger and probably either thumb as "clock signal". Or maybe rather than momentary keys the keys are little J/K toggle flipflops or S/R flipflops. Maybe two fingers pointer/middle in a three cycle mode where hitting the thumb advances?

Re:braille keyboard (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672909)

Not sure how a braille keyboard works but even if it required 2 or 3 keystrokes to do each braille character, it still wouldn't be that difficult to surpass the speed of a lot of people who can't be bothered to learn how to touch type properly. You could design such a system where pressing a key without the thumb depressed puts dots (controlled by the three middle fingers) in the first column of the letter, and with the thumb depressed puts the dots for the second character. Then use the little finger to advance to the next character. You could even auto-advance after typing in the dots for the second column.

Re:braille keyboard (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673451)

Very interesting I was finally motivated to google around and it turns out there's just 6 keys on a Perkins brailer, one key per bit/dot and you have to smash them and the "clock" signal to store is simultaneously releasing them all keys at once. I donno the encoding structure for braille but its entirely possible its a 5-of-6 encoding much like FDDI is a 8-of-10 etc etc, or I guess if its all 6 you just smash your fist on all the keys at once. And there also exists a spacebar, so I guess its technically 7 keys. Frankly I could use a traditional 10-key and type decimal UTF-8 values probably just as fast, with some practice. two decades ago working retail in the cash security room while a student I could quite easily ten-key much faster than one cash value per second after a couple weeks practice. So if a standard word is 5 letters and I squirted out two utf-8/ascii numbers per second, that would be about 24 WPM which is pretty fast compared to the average noob, although I'm typing this on a normal keyboard about 3 to 4 times as fast.

I can see why this hasn't been implemented on the back panel of cell phones etc because you'd have to remove all your fingers from the back of the phone to "key" thus there would be nothing holding the phone to your hand but residual finger grease on the display, also the wiggliness of the keying would vary with each glyph probably making it nearly impossible to read the display, and you know the average noob isn't going to start out as a touch typer. Finally the wiggliness of releasing keys would make the phone actually shift position for the next glyph making "typos" nearly inevitable.

Re:braille keyboard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673229)

Well, if there are 6 dots which can be raised or flat then you need 2^6 = 64 input combinations to represent them. These keyboards seem to have two keys (A and B) per finger (and thumb) allowing for three states, A-down, B-down, and neither-down for a total of 3^5 = 243 combinations. Even 3^4 = 81 combinations should be enough for the basics with some room left over for function keys and so on. Need more (e.g. for 8-dot braille)? Add a third key, perhaps just for the thumb.

The point is, a braille keyboard can be made such that there is one hand motion to create each braille character.

Could this be as fast as touch typing? Technically every touch typing motion requires multiple finger movements (lift one finger and lower another, possibly move the hand a bit). Plus there are those characters which require multi-finger presses (capitals, some special characters) as well. Perhaps speed-wise the two styles of typing are fairly comparable? If nothing else I would imagine that an expert with a braille keyboard could be as fast as an average touch typist. Perhaps that is the comparison the OP was making?

Well, it isn't just a little box (1)

undeadbill (2490070) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672483)

Major downside is that he doesn't have proof that I will be able to type faster or more effectively. Changing keyboard layouts to such a degree can take a lot out of my productivity.

Upsides is that he isn't married to any one shape for his input platform. Having the wraparound for the game controller could be handy. Same with the steering wheel option. I do hope that he offers some better design options for the handheld, as I'm not keen on pushing a little box up to my chest in order to type quickly.

Those who ignore history... (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672493)

Theoretically these chord keyboards would allow someone to work one-handed and use their other hand for something else, but in practice typing takes too much brainpower to really split your attention anyway and these chord keyboards just increase the load on your brain. In the end it seems that most people with a lot of practice can get 50-75% of their normal typing speed with these, which is just sort of annoying when you could just use a regular keyboard and get 100% and then shift both hands over to whatever other task you need to do.

There might be a few niche markets for these products, but historically they have never been able to sustain a product. It just takes too much training for mediocre results. There's too much compromise inherent in the product.

better alternatives (1)

terec (2797475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672503)

The most common one handed input device is The Twiddler; you can hold it and type at the same time.

Another one-handed input method is Half-Qwerty; it's been stuck in patent limbo for a couple of decades, and the inventor basically killed off the mobile market for the device, but the patent is expiring.

Easy2Key seems exceptionally badly designed from an ergonomic point of view. Also, spending months getting good at a patented input method is stupid, because if he stops making the device, you're in trouble.

I would have puchased one (1)

dubbreak (623656) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672547)

At $69 for the usb model I would have purchased one 5 months ago when I broke my arm. The chording keyboards I found were quite pricey (so I didn't want to take the risk) and half qwerty on my mechanical keyboard barely go me up to what this guy claims he can do on his chorded keyboard (and took a lot of practice). I'm curious about learning curve on this.

On the negative side, the hardware looks amateurish (ghetto decals that look like they'd peel off in a week, buttons with very little movement that you bottom out each stroke). It also looks like you can't currently purchase it. If this is a Slashvertisement then not having it actually available for sale on the website is pretty damn short sighted (miss out on any impulse purchases).

Meh... (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672561)

Handeykey's product destroys this one hard.

http://www.handykey.com/ [handykey.com]

Keyboard and mouse in one... leaves the other hand completely free for......

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42679485)

Two twiddlers at the same time. Double the twiddlers, double the pleasure.

Good piano-style chording keyboards? (2)

cruff (171569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672565)

I've always thought a piano-style chording keyboard for the desk would be nice, having musical training. In the past, I've not seen any that caught my fancy. I do have an older Twiddler, but that version didn't appear to be quite usable for me due to a restriction on the modifier keys that could be generated.

Does anyone actually use.. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672571)

Does anyone actually use chording keyboards? We've been messing with chording keyboards since the 1980s with the Microwriter and the Frogpad today and yet I've never actually seen anyone really using one beyond as a tech demo.

Re:Does anyone actually use.. (1)

seebs (15766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672769)

Some people do, and speak highly of them. I used to use a DataHand, and it's not really chording, though closer than most -- and honestly, if they'd make a slightly modernized one with native standard USB that didn't require a special high-amperage USB to PS/2 adapter, and was a bit easier to clean, I might well still be using it. It was a very pleasant typing experience.

Re:Does anyone actually use.. (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about a year and a half ago | (#42678995)

That's neither chording nor is it close to chording. Every single key is mapped to a physical button with no more modifiers than you'd find on a normal keyboard. Putting the keys closer together doesn't make it any more like chording than a standard QWERTY keyboard.

Re:Does anyone actually use.. (1)

noldrin (635339) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673415)

Not so much for alphanumeric applications, but chording keyboards are the standard for stenotype shorthand where they reach up to 300 words per minute. It's used in court rooms and live closed captioning. A few thousand of them are sold each year and can cost you upwards of $5,000. You can play around with such a system with the open source Plover: http://plover.stenoknight.com/ [stenoknight.com]

Product Name. (0)

SeNtM (965176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672625)

Anyone else think of the ID10T interface?

Prior art (1)

Garridan (597129) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672645)

Summary is off by at least a century. Chorded keyboards [wikipedia.org] have been around since at least 1868. Chorded braille keyboards have been around since 1892. Coincidentally, these were each apparently brought to the computer a century after their analogue versions were made.

Re:Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674049)

Stenotype keyboards are chord keyboards, and have been in widespread use for a long time - for all I know, they are still in use.

Re:Prior art (1)

NF6X (725054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42677435)

According to your Wikipedia link, chording keyboards date back to at least 1836. (!)

I've seen this instrument before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672871)

It's called a saxophone!

That thing is cell-phone sized, so..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672897)

It could have applications on mobile phones. He may not be so dumb.

If your phone doubles as a bluetooth keyboard, that could be used maybe with one of those upcoming Dell "Ophelia" computers.

Effectively, you could carry around your entire computer in two pockets. Just need another little pocket-mouse and you'd be set. No more lugging around heavy laptop computers.

Since 1968? Try 1913. (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672979)

"The idea has been around (at least) since 1968." Try 1913 or earlier, with the development of the stenotype machine, the chorded keyboard device which is used to transcribe courtroom testimony at about 200 WPM.

Make if wireless and TV compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673061)

Make it wireless and TV compatible. On those rare occasions when I plug the laptop into the TV, moving to the keyboard to change videos is a hassle. A wireless keyboard that uses USB, in this little form factor would be useful. You'd have to have all the remote functions too though, and it's gotta be ergonomic. Little rectangular box... probably not ergonomic. Oh, and pay attention to the weight with battery, not just the shape. When handling the remote blindly, you need uneven weight or shape to tell which end is up. My old Zenith remote, sigh... I could pick it up blindly and go to whatever channel I wanted. The new one I got with my set is fucking balanced. Balanced! I have no idea which end I'm holding, and worst of all if you pick it up wrong you end up changing the channel instead of adjusting the volume. I have to look at the stupid remote.

A solution looking for a problem (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673319)

Egads, why? That thing looks horrible to use, and expects people to learn crazy combinations, when most users still hunt-and-peck keyboards and spend half their time looking down at them to type.

There simply isn't a problem that exists that needs fewer buttons and large complexity to type.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713409)

crazy combinations? all of them are two finger combinations, no more than you are currently using for many keystrokes on the standard keyboard, All of the keystrokes are color-coded on the label so you can still hunt and peck if you can't learn. this has less complexity than most chord keyboards where you might need to press four or five keys for some things.

Phénoménal! Großartig! Oh wait... (1)

kfsone (63008) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673447)

... you couldn't type either of those on it.

llàstima

I'm still figuring out vi (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673503)

and I have been using vi for 15 years.

In the late 60s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674301)

In the late 60s I was quite fluent with a manual card punch and could probably still use one without difficulty. The punch cards had 12 columns: 0-9 and overpunch 11 and 12. Various combinations gave letters and symbols. E was 12+5.

These date back to the 1920s.
 

Put a chord keyboard on the back of a smartphone (1)

Al Kossow (460144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674311)

Suggested this to Andy Rubin a couple of years ago.
Wonder if anyone has tried it.

Slashvertisement (0)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674563)

Be that as it may, we wish Wayne Rasanen all the luck in the world as he brings his invention to market.
Well, your slashvertisement is sure to help. How much did he pay you?

Similar to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674755)

Another keyboard similar in some aspects is the Frogpad. At the time I was able to play Wow on it with limited success. The thing with these keyboards is that most would rather carry bluetooth keyboard 3 times bigger, than have to perform 3 actions for every one action.

The Frogpad is better designed, methinks. (1)

Static (1229) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675347)

They actually put research into the layout on the Frogpad, which explains it's non-qwerty, non-alphabetic arrangement. This new one he's just gone for alphabetic order.

Re:The Frogpad is better designed, methinks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713419)

the Twiddler and BAT chord keyboards are also alphabetic and thus easier to learn.

I've spent 45 minutes now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675749)

... and not found one single video of it being actually used to type actual stuff and not just the English alphabet in order.

This seems like the worst, most retarded idea ever. (I'm typing this on my Model M keyboard.)

Misread company name..... (1)

easyEmu (977903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675873)

Because this was linked from slashdot I read the company name as In - Too - Did..... Then I realized 10 was decimal system and not binary and it reads Intendid.

Bad summary (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year and a half ago | (#42676101)

Wayne Rasanen's Decatxt chording keyboard may be new and exciting to him, and he says has a patent on it so apparently the USPTO found it novel and original, but it's not the first chording keyboard by many long shots.

Subby, does his patent claim all implementations of chording keyboards, and in fact, the very concept of a chording keyboard? Or does it claim his one implementation? Because his implementation is novel and original - have you ever seen such an uncomfortable looking device? - and as long as he's not trying to claim ownership of the entire concept of chording, his patent could well be narrow enough to be valid. So, how about rather than injecting your FUD, you either link to the patent or stop whining about things you haven't read?

This is a big deal. (1)

lewko (195646) | about a year and a half ago | (#42677375)

Why, this could be bigger than the Dvorak keyboard!

ROFL (1)

SilverJets (131916) | about a year and a half ago | (#42677565)

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Oh. He's serious.

Stenography? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42677969)

Does anyone have experience with stenograph chorded keyboards? Trained transcriptionists are able to keep up with speakers over 200wpm.

There's even a free, open-source implementation of stenography software that runs on Linux/Mac/Windows as long as you have a keyboard with high rollover.

Plover [stenoknight.com]

Outdated? (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about a year and a half ago | (#42678937)

The guy says that it's silly to be using keyboards because they're so old and that we need new technology. He demonstrates this by making a video. Film was invented a long damn time ago, moving pictures were possible over one hundred years ago, and digital video has been around for more than three decades. Shoes and pants are even older than that but I see that he's wearing clothes. I guess this guy thinks that it's only a bad idea to use old things if he's selling a product to replace one of them.

Somethings wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689615)

Hang on, if this device is so good with one hand. Why does he always push it against his body? Answer... because he can't press the buttons and hold it properly. So its a pointless device in terms of being useful. He'll have to re design it so you don't have to hold up against something to press it!

Still waiting for the Chordite instead (1)

wintermute1974 (596184) | about a year ago | (#42702505)

This in10did device might actually ship, which beats vaporware hands down.

That's a pity, because a far better design was announced on Slashdot over a decade ago (http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/02/08/12/1413250/build-a-custom-fit-one-hand-keyboard) which still looks much more comfortable for heavy use (http://www.chordite.com/).

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