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Interesting Keyboard/Mouse Combo

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the stuff-to-see dept.

Hardware 181

Rimmel sent us a fairly hacked up keyboard/mouse combo. It's only a prototype, and the guy actually claims a patent on it (it's a split keyboard with a joystick. Let's not get full of ourselves ;) but he does have a lot of interesting notes on it, including timing notes to demonstrate that integrating the mouse this way is a speed gain. I'd tend to agree since I use a thinkpad with a mouse nipple half the time. Reaching for a mouse sucks, but the other half of that is playing a video game with anything besides a mouse is impossible.

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Re:Alternate Controls (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#208206)

Hahahahahahaha! Sorry, but from watching the video, it definetly looks like the right handed side of the keyboard will slide around much too easily for any form of speed typing..

A patent?! Well, maybe it's warranted, but again let's not get too full of ourselves..

--TooLazyToCreateAnAccountRightNow

kris at kukuvka.com [mailto]

Re:hehheh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#208207)

his particular mouse could probably be infinitely improved with a button on the keyboard that locks/unlocks movement of the mouseball as to be able to type easier in between mouse moves.

Re:This makes for a heafty mouse though... (3)

jandrese (485) | more than 12 years ago | (#208209)

Read the article, the inventor here managed to keep the weight down to that of an Intellimouse (granted, the Intellimouse is easily the heavist mouse I've ever used). He didn't address my #2 concern (after the weight one of course): This looks a lot more fragile than your average mouse. Mice take quite of bit of punishment over their lifetime, and now this guy is attaching half of an ultralight keyboard to the nose of it and we are supposed to avoid banging it on every other thing littering our desks. Worse, he used a laptop keyboard, and laptop keyboards generally have terrible tactile feedback.

Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.

Patent dead: IBM Thinkpad Keyboard (1)

strredwolf (532) | more than 12 years ago | (#208210)

His 'patent' is dead due to prior art: The IBM Thinkpad Keyboard has the eraserhead numb for a mouse. There's also keyboards that let you move the J key around and it'll move the mouse.



--
WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel
$Stalag99{"URL"}="http://stalag99.keenspace.com";

Patent Deserved (5)

Hrunting (2191) | more than 12 years ago | (#208211)

I know this will probably get modded down to where no one will see it, but I don't see why this guy doesn't deserve a patent. Yes, it's a split keyboard, but one of the split parts actually IS the mouse, a really bright (IMHO) idea that deserves to be rewarded. More importantly, this isn't a software patent, but an actual physical invention that has to be built and manufactured, and therefore, an exclusive right to distribute and/or license its design seems appropriate.

Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of patents these days are pretty bad, but this thing actually seems fairly inventive and worthy of the rights.

Time to reach for a mouse (may be off-topic) (5)

ciurana (2603) | more than 12 years ago | (#208212)

In 1992 - 1993 I was involved in an ergonomics experiment sponsored by the Bank of America New Technology Centre. The experiment gauged, among other things, how much time it took for people to reach for the mouse from their keyboard.

The results were very surprising: Right-handed people who train themselves to use the mouse with their left hand were 40% faster at completing tasks under Windows and OS/2. This had to do with the following:

  • The Presentation Manager guidelines allowed for some strange mappings of keys and mouse movements
  • On a standard PC keyboard, cursor movement, insert/delete/home/end/pgup/pgdn keys, and the numeric pad are on the right

For those of you too young to remember this, Presentation Manager was the user interface standard proposed by IBM and implemented by OS/2 and Windows 3.x. Many of its ugly recommendations are still enforced in Microsoft systems.

It was measured that many tasks were accomplished faster by navigating with the mouse (left hand) to a given screen area, then using the cursor, Enter, or control keys to perform an action, or use the numeric keys for data capture, etc.

I still use my mouse with the left hand. You may wish to try it! It only takes about a day or so to get used to the new position. No, I didn't change the buttons' configuration. Left button is still left button even though I use the mouse with the left hand. It's a lot easier to move the mouse to the left of the keyboard on a system that doesn't belong to you than to re-map the buttons ::wink::.

I will ask if they ever published this research; if they did, I'll post back a follow up comment with the link to it.

Cheers!

E

Re:Lefties (1)

Bake (2609) | more than 12 years ago | (#208213)

Nope, no corelation between left thumb space bar and left mouse use (either that or I'm the exception that proves the rule).

I'm a lefty and use my left thumb to hit the space bar, but I use my mouse with my right hand.

Go lefties!

Re:Keyboard "nipple" (1)

Hallow (2706) | more than 12 years ago | (#208214)

I dunno. I've always heard it called the clit mouse before...
I guess nipple is a bit more socially gracefull maybe?

;)

Re:This makes for a heafty mouse though... (2)

Genom (3868) | more than 12 years ago | (#208215)

Heh - if they made those keyboards with the old-style springs rather than cheapo rubber domes, I'd order one. As it is, I have a retro IBM keyboard I use with my laptop when I'm at home. It's big, heavy, and makes VERY loud clicking while typing. In short, it's wonderful to type with it on my lap - if it had a built-in trackpoint (nipple) or even a micro-trackball on the right-hand side, it'd be perfect. A lot moreso than the keyboard/trackpad on my laptop, where my palms always seem to activate the trackpad at inopportune times while I'm typing...

Won't go anywhere (1)

Synn (6288) | more than 12 years ago | (#208221)

You're not going to get anywhere re-inventing the mouse and the keyboard, I don't care how much of a "better" design it is. People are comfortable with those two current devices and they're not going to make a switch to something weird looking. If you really want to innovate do something new that people can latch onto. The gesture based input from Black and White is a good example.

example of a good patent (2)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 12 years ago | (#208222)

Okay, a guy from Oz has a US Patent on his invention. Good for him, good for the USPTO.

About the design, Ive often wondered if a Theremin effect could be used for a 3D spacial
controller. Maybe even 4D. Ideas?

Re:Lefties are the spawn of the devil (1)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 12 years ago | (#208223)

Damn, and me without modpoints....

Re:My mouse idea (3)

GoRK (10018) | more than 12 years ago | (#208224)

I have seen SGI workstations that have a bank of 6 dials/knobs for doing similar things. They are for XYZ Rotate and XYZ Translate. I imagine they are serial devices, so you can probably use them on just about anything as long as you have software support. Anyone know where to get them?

~GoRK

Re:Patent Deserved (1)

Ouroboro (10725) | more than 12 years ago | (#208226)

I couldn't agree more. This is the type of thing for which patents were intended. He has demonstrably improved an existing device in a novel and non-trivial way.

Re:Time to reach for a mouse (may be off-topic) (1)

dwlemon (11672) | more than 12 years ago | (#208227)

Yes. I'm right handed but I've been using my mouse on the left for quite some time now. It's much more comfortable.

Re:Time to reach for a mouse (may be off-topic) (2)

Erik Hensema (12898) | more than 12 years ago | (#208229)

Being left-handed myself, I'm also thinking of converting to a left-handed mouse. Currently I own a Logitech Mouseman which is right-handed and I'm completely comfortable using my mouse right handed.

But one thing strikes me as being "wrong": when you center your keyboard's alphanumeric part to the monitor, the numeric part will point out to the right. And even further to the right is the mouse. So, when positioning my keyboard in an ergonomic manner, the mouse is waaaaay to the right. Now I must reach out to the mouse, which really strains (in my case) my shoulder.

When using the mouse with the left hand everything is in balance again: mouse to the left of the screen, alphanumeric keyboard in front of it, and numeric keyboard to the right.

Re:Keyboard "nipple" (2)

Pope Slackman (13727) | more than 12 years ago | (#208230)

My favorite is the contraction of "Joystick" and "Nipple"...Leading to the...

JOYNIPPLE!

C-X C-S

Re:Time to reach for a mouse (may be off-topic) (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#208231)

I agree - give it a try for a day or so and see if you feel more efficient. I made the switch a year or two ago after reading yet another carpal-tunnel-owns-your-wrists article here, and have never looked back (heck, it might've been the parent post's author who gave me the idea, in which case I say "Thanks!"). It may not be for Emacs users (see post above), but since I'm a vi guy it works great. It also really confuses coworkers who try to use your workstation :)

The only bad thing is that if you then go into a "normal" computer lab with all the mice on the right of the keyboard, you'll be grabbing for someone else's mouse until you train your left hand to stay put.

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Keyboard "nipple" (5)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#208232)

I've always heard it called the clit mouse before...

Just what the world needs - a mouse you can never find when your computer really wants you to... :)

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:This makes for a heafty mouse though... (1)

jawad (15611) | more than 12 years ago | (#208233)

It's not 1981 anymore, the entire right half of the keyboard isn't that heavy... Imagine doing this with an old school IBM keyboard. I'll just save my money to get one of these IBM keyboards [ibm.com] , though.

The best solution? (1)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 12 years ago | (#208235)

Humans just need a third arm, maybe more. Or a prehensile tail. If you could operate your keyboard with 10 digits distributed evenly across two hands and control a mouse with a tail (or a new kind of pointer device which is manipulated in 3D by direct use of the tail), we'd be all set. Then we wouldn't need to worry about all these complications of human-computer interface design -- from the input side, anyway.

If only more neuroscientists were working on *useful* projects like bionic prehensile tails... :)

-Chris
...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...

Re:My mouse idea (3)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 12 years ago | (#208239)

Then this [aol.com] would probably have given you an aneurism.

(It's amazing etch-a-sketch art, not Mr. Goatsex)

-B

Re:Video games best with a mouse? (1)

DeathBunny (24311) | more than 12 years ago | (#208240)

Almost every good Quake player plays with the mouse. If you play with the keyboard only your going to be a very easy target!

If you're going to do it... (5)

Brento (26177) | more than 12 years ago | (#208242)

do it right. This guy certainly put the legwork into researching his plan, and his comparisons of weight and center of gravity with the Microsoft Intellimouse are brilliant.

When I first saw the device, I thought, "Nah, it's going to be way too heavy and awkward." He's already got the research done to make sure it isn't, and he does a great job of disproving a lot of problems that users like me would consider. In fact, his product demo on that page is better than the documentation that comes with a lot of the products I've purchased.

Even if the mouse/kb combo concept doesn't take off, this guy deserves a great project management job somewhere. I'd love to write code for somebody who puts this kind of thought into their work.

Nostalgia (5)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 12 years ago | (#208243)

I yearn for the good old days when if you were talking about a keyboard and mouse, it meant Tom was trying to kill Jerry, who had hidden inside a piano. And Tom would play a damn good bit of Liszt trying to do it!

If you like the keyboard of Thinkpads... (1)

ianezz (31449) | more than 12 years ago | (#208246)

....PCKeyboard [pckeyboard.com] (the ex keyboard division of IBM and Lexmark) makes an interesting product [pckeyboard.com] . Of course, you can attach an external pointing device too.

*Almost* as good as this combo... (2)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 12 years ago | (#208247)

A combination of a regular keyboard and a *foot mouse* would probably be more idea. Hands constantly stay on the keyboard, so there's no penalty for "context-switching" between mousing and typing. And you get a small multitasking bonus (typing while mouse moving).

If they were CHEAPER [fentek-ind.com] , I'd see a lot of people getting one.

I want to try... (1)

CBravo (35450) | more than 12 years ago | (#208252)

I think this is the first design I've seen that adequately takes care of the mouse issue. I would first like to try it though.

Any more betatesters needed for this design??

Space bar only on the right side? (3)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 12 years ago | (#208254)


You normally use both thumbs for spaces. At the very least put it on the stationary side since is a very common key used.

Alternate Controls (1)

Inigima (47437) | more than 12 years ago | (#208255)

Reaching for a mouse sucks, but the other half of that is playing a video game with anything besides a mouse is impossible.

... what, am I the only one who uses a trackball?

inigima

What's the deal? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 12 years ago | (#208256)

Are editors on Slashdot afraid that if they report something that someone might actually be able to buy that they'll look like they've been bought off? Sheesh, I remember not too long ago Taco would openly state that if anyone sent him free stuff he would review it.

I've always wanted... (2)

stienman (51024) | more than 12 years ago | (#208257)

I thought it would be neat to put a trackball into a mouse for 4 degrees of movement, but recently I saw an IBM mouse with the little stick on it and thought that would actually be better!

I only saw it in a picture though, and couldn't find it on IBM's web site. Anyone know anything else? It would be great for a first person shooter if you put an additional wheel and a few more buttons on it...

-Adam

---Looking for people to market my in-home, do it yourself root canal kit---

This sig 80% recycled bits, 20% post user.

Re:My mouse idea (2)

British (51765) | more than 12 years ago | (#208258)

I hope she doesn't live in California. one mild earthquake and all her work would be ruined!

My mouse idea (5)

British (51765) | more than 12 years ago | (#208259)

I always wanted to take apart an old mouse, and mount two dials on the front end of the keyboard.

That way, you could have perfect orthogonal motion when doing CAD or drawing work. Doing diagonals will take some skill.

The inspiration? The Etch-A-Sketch. I dunno, call it the Etch-A-Mouse.

accuracy (1)

sometwo (53041) | more than 12 years ago | (#208260)

One of the things that I like about mice is they are very exact. My hand can control their movement to the pixel. I joystick is very inexact. You can should way by your target. It is easy to go in a general direction but it is difficult to stop where you want. The same is true for the nibble that is so popular on many notebooks.

What we need, of course, is a direct computer connection to our brains.

Mice and 3d Apps (5)

ruhk (70494) | more than 12 years ago | (#208267)

I love this idea. I don't know how practical it is until I have one 'in hand', so to speak but It would go a ong way to help something that's been driving me nuts for a while. It was pointed out in Dilbert as a joke, but its the absolute truth:

We have designed the modern PC for people with three hands.

This becomes most apparent when you're working in 3d apps, like Lightwave, 3d Studio, Truespace, or the like. You've got one hand working the controls, one hand on the mouse and you wish you could have a third hand on the number pad.

The other thing that drives me nuts on mice is the wheel. So my mouse maps X and Y axes to the standard motion of the mouse. Why can't I map the wheel to a Z axis? The best example of this is the Kensington TurboRing trackball. The 'wheel' is actually a ring set into the top of the trackball and indeed rotates about the Z-axis. Why don't 3d apps allow for this?

Ignore the craze ravings of a 3d geek.


--

Backspace key!! (2)

snakeyes (73026) | more than 12 years ago | (#208268)

I can't believe he moved the backspace key. I know that proper typing technique is to use your right thumb for the space bar, but since I had surgery on my right thumb while learning to type, it's been left thumb spacing for me. I could *never* use this keyboard layout. I'm sure that other people use the left thumb for the space as well. Grrrr...

Re:Backspace key!! (3)

mach-5 (73873) | more than 12 years ago | (#208269)

Yes, I agree. I think some people use either or both thumbs for the space. This is why most ergonomic keyboards have two space bars, one on each side. It would be nice to see this designed with a space bar on both sides, and the backspace key moved to its normal position.

Lefties (1)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 12 years ago | (#208270)

I saw above a person who has a medical reason to use the left tumb for spacing and the mention of lefty mouse use - I understand and feel for both since I am a left thumb spacer and a left mouse user so my .02 would be that a left handed version just use the mouse idea on the left and keep the space bar with the mouse portion.

Is there a corelation between left thumb space bar use and left mouse use?

Additionally my GF converted to lefty mouse use since it frees your right hand for arrow keys and number pad use. However, the keyboard presented does not allow for simultaneious mousing and number pading since in mouse mode some of the numbers from the number pad turn into mouse buttons unless you become a hack at switching between mouse and non mouse modes just to get some numbers entered...

Put the Function keys back on the left! (2)

Caractacus Potts (74726) | more than 12 years ago | (#208273)

I would give this guy a million dollars if he would put the function keys back on the left side of the keyboard where they belong. This would surely save the world countless seconds by allowing programmers to once again touch type these keys, just like in the "good ol' days."

No hurry. I still have enough IBM PC-AT keyboards to last me a hundred years.

Re:Time to reach for a mouse (may be off-topic) (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 12 years ago | (#208275)

I would, if my trackball wasn't designed so that using it with the right hand was the only possible way. Still, it's a damn cool mouse. (Logitech Trackman Marble Cordless)

----

Ummm... (1)

greyrat (80922) | more than 12 years ago | (#208276)

Back when dinosaurs walked the earth, most Tektronix terminals operated this way. They were called "thumbwheels" and were at the left end of the keyboard. I think I had a color VT terminal that used the same setup as well.

Patents bad (2)

BierGuzzl (92635) | more than 12 years ago | (#208278)

therefore, an exclusive right to distribute and/or license its design seems appropriate.

I agree with you that this is definitely an innovation that deserves some recognition. However, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "appropriate". Just because it's not software does not mean that a patent that ensures "exclusive right ot distribute" is good. I believe that open hardware is just as important -- the same sort of advances that are possible in a software world free of patents are also possible in a hardware world free of patents.

Re:To troll... --I'll bite (2)

BierGuzzl (92635) | more than 12 years ago | (#208279)

wtf?
  • A waterproof/foodproof keyboard -- been done
  • A keyboard that rolls up -- been done
On top of that it's cumbersome to use, you have to push the keys extra hard to make them work, making it anything but ergonomic.

This makes for a heafty mouse though... (1)

slashbrent (102855) | more than 12 years ago | (#208281)

I could be wrong, but who else thinks that pushing around the entire right half of a keyboard is inviting carpal tunnel syndrome?

And yeah, you will not be using this for Quake any time soon.

I just love our President [toostupidt...sident.com] - he's so not bright.

Re:Strap-On (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 12 years ago | (#208282)

The web site mentions that the future plans for the device call for the mouse section to be wireless. The strap minght actually be a good idea, but a pin if you have to scratch your nose quick. I could really see people gouging thier eyes out if it's strapped to thier hand when they go to pick thier nose.
=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\= \=\=\=\

Re:Video games best with a mouse? (1)

commanderfoxtrot (115784) | more than 12 years ago | (#208284)

You obviously never played Zarch on the Acorn Archimedes. One of the best games I've ever played: great control system (really sorts out the men from the boys) and good gameplay.. easily spiced up with a cheat module!! There is a binary only version for linux in the making, but I haven't seen much change over the last year.

It was quite a feat though to control a spacecraft in three dimensions using the mouse, and not everyone could do it. But great when you could.

Looks like a good product to steal (2)

Kagato (116051) | more than 12 years ago | (#208285)

I don't want to seem to be a troll here. But I've had experiences with the small company that has a patent trying to get money out of a large company that is producing a knock off.

Here's how it goes down. You serve them with papers. You meet and say "You're stealing my idea." They respond "We've looked at your finacial standing, you don't have the means to defend your patent. Good day."

Patents protect large companies, and pad lawyers pockets, they do nothing to protect the small inventor.

No way (3)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 12 years ago | (#208286)

Ok ... I watched the video and that was enough. There is no way I can type on a moveable mini-keypad that also acts as a mouse when moved. Maybe others have no problem keeping a light, mobile square stable while reaching for a top- or bottom-row key... This thing would drive me nuts.

To each his (ambiguous masculine third person pronoun includes both genders...and transgenders, I suppose) own.

BTW, I'm the kind that loves the point-stick (I'm not using the N-word in my posts!) to the extent that I only consider laptops with the point-stick as an option. Kinda narrows down the choices, but at least I can choose between IBM and Toshiba models. (I've owned the Workpad z50 and, currently, a Toshiba Satellite 2805).
--

duh (1)

ShrikeDOA (118272) | more than 12 years ago | (#208287)

Seems like a bad idea to me. The mouse needs to be smooth enough to give fluid motion. But then when you try to type on it, it's going to slide all over the place. It almost needs little brakes triggered by the mode button, though that's gonna be tricky.

Plus you need a heck of a lot more mouse-pad real-estate, as the keyboard bit will be bumping into stuff.

Frankly i don't feel i lose much efficiency taking that quarter second to move my hand to the mouse...

perception trouble? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 12 years ago | (#208288)

http://www.asktog.com/readerMail/1999-12ReaderMail .html
.oO0Oo.

Re:Nostalgia (1)

mdw2 (122737) | more than 12 years ago | (#208289)

yeah.... like 20 or something, damn old farts.
Want some indy electronic (and other) music?

Mouse (1)

Capt. DrunkenBum (123453) | more than 12 years ago | (#208290)

"Reaching for a mouse sucks, but the other half of that is playing a video game with anything besides a mouse is impossible."

The only pointing device I use is a trackball. Absolutley perfect for games, and helps reduce carpal tunel syndrome.
Takes about an hour to get used to, then you will never go back.

Q3A doesn't respond well to the joystick (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#208292)

The only decent video game I've ever played with a mouse was Arkanoid-- and then only because a mouse is basically an inverted trackball. For anything else I'd rather have a regular old keyboard or a joystick (and in some cases two joysticks)

For some reason, my Quake III Arena for Windows isn't responding well to my analog joystick. Even though I've calibrated it, the game still moves as if it were digital.

hehheh (4)

Electric Angst (138229) | more than 12 years ago | (#208295)

The really amusing part is watching the counter at the top of the guy's site. When I first hit it, it was at 27. I reloaded about ten seconds later, and it was at 99.

It's like watching a Slashdotting in action...


--

Re:hehheh (1)

tcc (140386) | more than 12 years ago | (#208296)

That's really cool now I've calculated 50 hits/second :)

His counter is screwed tho, it was at 693, I've refreshed, it was at 137

More violence in the same hit... (2)

tcc (140386) | more than 12 years ago | (#208297)

now not only I'll bang my mouse when I'll be pissed getting fragged in quake, I'll bang the keyboard at the same time, double the frustration releive in one single shot, the one who claims that isn't worth a patent is a complete idiot

Re:Alternate Controls (2)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 12 years ago | (#208299)

Yes.

I am, however, pretty accustomed to the old Compaq laptops that had the trackball in the LCD display. I'd take that over a damn touch-pad any day.

--

Re:No way (3)

edp (171151) | more than 12 years ago | (#208303)

"... keeping a light, mobile square stable ..."

It pivots slightly so that when the hand rests on it in a typing position, a high-friction rubber foot holds it in place. When the hand moves to the mouse position, it moves on low-friction Teflon sliders.

Re:Time to reach for a mouse (may be off-topic) (2)

MrBogus (173033) | more than 12 years ago | (#208306)

The original IBM/MS standard was Shift+Delete, Ctrl+Insert, Shift+Insert. Horrible, but still mostly supported in Windows.

Apple had a alternate standard of F1/F2/F3, which was very nice for mouse-oriented tasks such as drawing programs. Too bad it was never widely supported, even on MacOS.

Lefties (1)

saider (177166) | more than 12 years ago | (#208309)

I see that right-handed bias is again rearing its ugly head. Perhaps another patent could be issued for a left handed version. But, I guess that would be obvious.

Re:My mouse idea (2)

White Shadow (178120) | more than 12 years ago | (#208310)

Some software comes with work arounds for this. For example, in Photoshop, if you hold down the shift key, your lines snap to the nearest orthogonal direction. I assume something like this could also be written into mouse drivers so that holding a combination of keys will make your mouse only move in certain directions.

Not that good... (3)

boaworm (180781) | more than 12 years ago | (#208311)

This mouse obviousy solves some problems. You dont have to reach for the mouse when you want to use it. Its alread available. But is this all good ?

More and more people are getting fysical injuries when sitting in front of a computer. Is that because they stretch for the mouse, and then back to the keyboard ? (ie _moves_)... no its all the static movement... yes!

Furthermore, what kind of mouse do you perfer to use ? What kind of keyboard ? I personly fancy those "broken" keyboards form MS and Logitech, since they relax both hands, neck and shoulders. The same goes for the mouse. I use a logitech mouseman wheel simply because it supports the hand and gives a very relaxing working position. Any ordinary plain simple mouse gives me the creeps in less then 10 minutes.

We need to move more, not less...

Arrow keys. (1)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 12 years ago | (#208317)

I especially like the position of the arrow keys. Everybody here probably uses emacs and uses the Ctrl-[letter] controls for movement, but the biggest thing I hate about the MS Natural keyboards is the position of the arrow keys. And at least one of those MS keyboards forces you to move and rotate your hand in order to use it correctly because the keys aren't positioned at the same angle as the rest of the keys.

Video games best with a mouse? (3)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 12 years ago | (#208318)

How young do you have to be to think this way? The only decent video game I've ever played with a mouse was Arkanoid-- and then only because a mouse is basically an inverted trackball. For anything else I'd rather have a regular old keyboard or a joystick (and in some cases two joysticks). Maybe a steering wheel for racing games, but those play fine with joysticks too.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Phillip2 (203612) | more than 12 years ago | (#208320)

"Go look at the page, look at his designs, look at the consideration he's put into this and come back and tell me its not an invention. It is. "

It is indeed an invention and a fairly cute one if you ask me.

Of course the problem is here that this is not what the patent covers. The basic idea is okay of course, but what makes his idea much better than this is the research and development that he has done on top of it. He has a working prototype.

The thing is though is that the patenting process does not reward this R&D at all. Its a completely orthogonal issue. Its possible to have a patent with little or not R&D, or even when someone else has done the R&D (take a look at the gene patents if you do not believe me!). Its also possible to patent something when you have no working prototype (or never could have as many patents have been passed on impossible technologies).

I agree with you that this guy deserves recognition for the work that he has done, which I think appears good. It may be that in this case the patent system will even enable him to get this recognition. This does not however change the essential point that the patent system is a square peg for a round hole. Phil

This seems like a prime example of a good patent.. (2)

PinkyAndThaBrain (206650) | more than 12 years ago | (#208321)

An innovative idea, not an algorithmic patent... as far as Im concerned this deserves a patent.

Re:Alternate Controls (2)

agentZ (210674) | more than 12 years ago | (#208323)

from watching the video, it definetly looks like the right handed side of the keyboard will slide around much too easily for any form of speed typing.

The inventor has solved this problem by making it so that the right handed side of the keyboard acts like a mouse only when a contact switch is pressed. (Check out this Overview sketch [optusnet.com.au] .)

Re:Still uses two ports (1)

vinnythenose (214595) | more than 12 years ago | (#208325)

Sparc machines have the two on one cable from the keyboard. Mouse plugs into the keyboard.

Re:My mouse idea (1)

excesspwr (218183) | more than 12 years ago | (#208327)

I always wanted to take apart an old mouse, and mount two dials on the front end of the keyboard.

That way, you could have perfect orthogonal motion when doing CAD or drawing work. Doing diagonals will take some skill.

I had one of those. It was called an Etch-A-Sketch, but all I could ever make was stairs.

Hmmm (5)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 12 years ago | (#208332)

"the guy actually claims a patent on it (it's a split keyboard with a joystick. Let's not get full of ourselves ;)"

YOU didn't think of it did you? How bout anyone else here. Go look at the page, look at his designs, look at the consideration he's put into this and come back and tell me its not an invention. It is. Not calling this an invention is like calling a light bulb "just a piece of wire headed by electricity...for peats sake haven't you seen lightning light up the sky".

Re:hehheh (1)

nowt (230214) | more than 12 years ago | (#208333)

Hmm I first pulled it up and the counter was 279.. with each reload it went up 6-9.. then I went 'away' and back to /. then back to his site and the counter read 48..?

Trouble in Dodge?

What about the laptop version? (1)

basking2 (233941) | more than 12 years ago | (#208334)

So assuming this thing does take off, and is all the rage, how would you work it into a laptop? :)

Sam
Sam
--
"The Son of God became a man to enable man to become sons of God."

Re:maybe you have to (2)

Kraft (253059) | more than 12 years ago | (#208336)

I think it's true that it's hard to convert the mainstream user - I would still be typing on my old klik-klak IBM keyboard if it wasn't for my CTS.

However, from what I heard, it can be damn expensive, if one or more of your employees get wrist problems from typing - they can't continue work, and demand insurance or compensation. One of my friends worked for the the Danish railway system, doing some slave typing tasks, got CTS and ended up getting over three times as much in compensation as he got in wages, the three months he was there... and he's still getting money coming in every month (ok, that's Denmark).

I use a Datahand [datahand.com] , and they claim that some companies [datahand.com] have experienced increased productivity (up to 13% gain) on heavy duty typing tasks from using their keyboard. Ie. more productivity, less chance of employees getting wrist problems from investing in an alternative input device. If employers aren't insisting on their typers/coders using ergonomic input devices, it can cost them money AND the employees their health (and yes, CTS does suck).

-Kraft

Re:Still a Good Idea (1)

kbeast (255013) | more than 12 years ago | (#208337)

don't take this the wrong way, but, why would you need your keyboard lit up? I mean, don't you look at the screen when you type? better yet, doesn't the monitor give off enough light that "you know where the keyboard is?" I mean, if you want the keyboard lit, I think you could get a little snake light or a desk lamp..I mean, if its "dark" and needs to be dark, the monitor is like keeping a tv set on...

.kb

Re:Backspace key!! (1)

kbeast (255013) | more than 12 years ago | (#208338)

not to mention the backslash key. I can't stand when the backslash key is not above the enter key.

.kb

Re:Lefties (1)

kbeast (255013) | more than 12 years ago | (#208339)

eh, I switched the M$ intelli elite keyboard (or whatever its called, and, for a few days I was hitting the center with my right hand...i learned to switch...only took a few days before I wasn't poking out the numlock lights...

.kb

Re:Backspace key!! (1)

Whatever Fits (262060) | more than 12 years ago | (#208343)

With new advances in medical science [slashdot.org] you can type any way you want!

Re:hehheh (1)

kilgore_47 (262118) | more than 12 years ago | (#208344)

that dude's counter is broken! I just hit reload a few times and watched it go from 100 to 200 over about 30 seconds, and then back to zero. Shame we can see actual stats of the /. effect, that would have been interesting!
---

Re:What about lefties? (1)

kilgore_47 (262118) | more than 12 years ago | (#208345)

unlike you, i followed the link and read the site before posting. Yes, he has plans for a lefty version too.
---

Strap-On (1)

Greenisus (262784) | more than 12 years ago | (#208346)

This could actually be interesting if it were wireless, and had straps so you could wear it. I guess people in chatrooms could only use the letters {q,w,e,r,t,a,s,d,f,g,z,x,c,v,b, and 1-6 (no space)) when looking at pr0n. "um, what are you doing?" "g6t`a1V3`br1t1V3`111Vx"

Cool, but... (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 12 years ago | (#208347)

Where's the Windows key?

Using Windows without the Windows key is a massive hit to usage speed.

Dancin Santa

Re:Showing my age... (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 12 years ago | (#208348)

Open File Explorer: Windows+'E'
Minimize all windows: Windows+'M'
etc.

Using the mouse to do any of these takes many more movements than is necessary. Even typing the commands into cmd takes more time than the shortcuts.

Dancin Santa

Still uses two ports (2)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 12 years ago | (#208349)

Is it just me, or does anyone else think it's strange that out of the hundreds of Wintel mouse/keyboard combinations on the market, none of them combine the keyboard and mouse data into a single stream? Is it really that hard to embed mouse movement into the keyboard serial port?

9 Button Mouse (1)

Popocatepetl (267000) | more than 12 years ago | (#208350)

I think it would be nice to have arrow buttons like the keyboard has so I could easily make straight movements. 9 buttons, 8 to send the mouse in 8 directions and one to restore to previous location. Plus a joystick/ball/whatever...sounds kind of big, but I would really like it.

Re:No way (1)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 12 years ago | (#208351)

It pivots slightly so that when the hand rests on it in a typing position I hate to sound like your high school typing teacher, but your hands should never rest on the keyboard. I always thought it was stupid for companies to put wrist rests on keyboards for that very reason... but now we are depending on people to type incorrectly in order for the keyboard to work at all!

To troll... (3)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 12 years ago | (#208352)

Interesting, but nothing new really. Just like all other 'inovative' keyboards, this one will be useful for the carpal tunnel folk, but won't convert the mainstream user. The keyboard is about the least improved part of a computer ever, so I doubt anything will change until we get telepathy-enabled computers. In fact, the keyboard has been around since typewriters, so why would we ever change the design? The only really innovative keyboard design I have seen has been the Plycon Flex Keyboard [216.157.14.244] as reviewed in this VH Review [virtualhideout.net] .

Re:Time to reach for a mouse (may be off-topic) (1)

Dutchy (312061) | more than 12 years ago | (#208355)

40% faster? I guess I can't speak for others, but since I starting to lefty my mouse my speed has gone way down. I had no idea was using C-z,C-x,C-c,C-v as much as I was!!

Re:No way (1)

Chakat (320875) | more than 12 years ago | (#208358)

Ok ... I watched the video and that was enough. There is no way I can type on a moveable mini-keypad that also acts as a mouse when moved. Maybe others have no problem keeping a light, mobile square stable while reaching for a top- or bottom-row key... This thing would drive me nuts.

The guy's solved that problem, too. You've got to hold down a button to activate the mouse features. But like you said, this is one of those to each hir own( hir - k-rad word denoting ambiguous gender). This may not be for the heavy handed user, or even the usual home user, but it would probably kick ass as a high tech keyboard to use as a prop in a hacker flick or an "innovative company's" front office.

Re:Patent dead: IBM Thinkpad Keyboard (1)

Chakat (320875) | more than 12 years ago | (#208359)

Totally different concept here. We're not talking about nub mice, or key mice here, we're talking about keyboards which are mice. You move the whole right half of the keyboard to use the pointer, not a single key, or a nub

No need to build both halves (1)

ecarlson (325598) | more than 12 years ago | (#208363)

Why not just build the right hand piece which includes the mouse, and use your left hand on your regular keyboard. That would make the device useful for laptop users too.

what about repositioning? (1)

cosmo7 (325616) | more than 12 years ago | (#208364)

i regularly run my mouse off the edge of my desk because i forget to pick it up and move it to position it right. this thing looks like it might be difficult to do that.

(also, this guy's boss is going to be so mad when he sees what he's done to his keyboard!)

:) (1)

PW2 (410411) | more than 12 years ago | (#208365)

Let's not get full of ourselves ;)

Of all the people to say that...

:)

Believe it or Not.... (1)

cobol4me (444373) | more than 12 years ago | (#208368)

...that's the *first* time in my life I've
clicked on an .avi link and *not* seen cum
splash all over a chick's face!!

Re:Still a Good Idea (1)

db_two (445268) | more than 12 years ago | (#208369)

Yeah this is a good idea --- and all reasonably good ideas (pertaining to the slashdotting background) should get the chance to show theirs here.

Like our keyboard being released soon....

URL: http://www.nite-surfer.com [www.nite-s...mtargetnew]

See the article written at: Spice Up That Late Night Gaming .: www.GameVoiceClub.com :. - The Ultimate GameVoice Users Database [gamevoiceclub.com]

Back-Lit keyboards --- Game Voice Club Connection - Forums powered by WWWThreads [gamevoiceclub.com]

Ifeel Mouse with Illuminated Keyboard comments -- Game Voice Club Connection - Forums powered by WWWThreads [gamevoiceclub.com]


David Byrd
CEO - 21st Century Tech., Inc.
URL: http://www.nite-surfer.com

Useful for PDAs, worthless for PCs (1)

christoofar (451967) | more than 12 years ago | (#208373)

I can see PDA users needing this when desktop space is at a premium (On a 747/757/777/Airbus, for example). I use the Targus [targus.com] keyboard with my HP Journada for notetaking and lecturework; been able to get 8.5 hours out of it between charges.

That being said, I don't think this concept will fly well on the desktop except for the select view who can master typing without beating the hell out of their machines. I can see labels on the box: "Not for Cybersquirters or e-Epileptics"

Kewl idea.... (1)

gooberguy (453295) | more than 12 years ago | (#208375)

That is an awesome idea. I could open up paint and it would be just like my ol' etch a sketch only it would have color! :) D/\ Gooberguy

Re:Hit ocunter... (1)

gooberguy (453295) | more than 12 years ago | (#208376)

It's probably because the counter is going past 10,000 and restarting at 0. D/\ Gooberguy

Re:Nostalgia (1)

gooberguy (453295) | more than 12 years ago | (#208377)

Wow, you must be really old.

D/\ Gooberguy

Re:What about the laptop version? (1)

gooberguy (453295) | more than 12 years ago | (#208378)

Here's my theory on that:
The laptop would split into three peices:

1. The screen.
2. The left part of the keyboard. (also containing the CPU and memory.)
3. The right part of the keyboard/mouse (containing the hard drive and battery).

They would all be hooked together by wires for power while bluetooth radio would allow communication between all the parts.

D/\ Gooberguy
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