I'm not so sure that this will get very far. The trade off in learning a new input style compared with the ease of voice. Which since the likes of Siri and Google Now, has come a LONG way. I use google now a lot.
Over the years a plethora of keyboard alternatives have crossed the El Reg hardware desk, but none has had the utility, or longevity, of the Handykey Twiddler. This third incarnation has been a decade in the making, and arrived a year late, but with small hands and a willingness to learn it could make wearable computing …
I use Google a bit, and Siri quite a lot - and they're OK. But still make lots of mistakes that you then have to correct with fat fingers, and fiddly (and particularly crap on phones) attempts to get the cursor in the right place. One of the major points for me would be to avoid having to get my reading glasses out, but it makes so many errors that it still needs to be properly checked for anything other than a short text message.
Add even a bit of noise into the environment and speech recognition goes crap. Just having the TV on, or even the road noise from the office window behind me defeats Siri.
You can't use voice in a meeting either. Without being really anti-social. Or in a crowded office or train. So even if (probably when) you can fix the problems above, this is the major issue. Other people can hear your voice. Politeness should put the kibosh on universal voice recognition.
That leaves us with keyboards of some description or pen input for text.
Ugotta B. Kiddingme,
Nice post. That made me laugh. Have an upvote!
Your cynical assumption of lack of politeness and mutual respect is of course true. However a lack of faith in human nature cuts both ways. Anyone voice-typing a business email in public near me, may be surprised by the number of times phrases such as 'donkey penis' appear in their text - something which may discourage them from being so anti-social in future.
So the Velcro strap can be reconfigured for left handed use, but can the button assignments (and the key tops) also be reconfigured for left handed configuration?
I'm assuming the key layout has been optimised for chording and usage frequency. If they are not reconfigurable it would mean that a left handed user would be at a disadvantage.
Mind you, given that this is an entirely new device, a "lefty" could actually learn to use it with their right hand, leaving their dominant hand free for writing etc.
All that is required now is to incorporate an "air mouse" to replace two devices in one.
RE: Maltron. I used to do desktop support had had one user with RSI that used a Maltron keyboard (never knew what it was called until I checked the Wikipedia link posted today) along with a track pad. They were left handed too and had the trackpad buttons reversed.
Doing any kind of support for them required an extreme amount of concentration. Even something as simple as creating and renaming a folder then dragging a file across was an exercise in patience!
I had an AgendA - once you learned the chords it was quick and fairly easy to use. Certainly no harder than typing on a tiny keyboard (whether that be a 1980s one with plastic buttons or a modern touch screen). Not only did the AgendA work as a PDA (quite well actually), it could be used as a keyboard for a desktop via a serial cable.
I can pick up a new keyboard and mouse for just the shipping fee!
Seriously though, I think the high cost and learning curve will put most people off.Voice recognition is making progress and keyboards are so cheap. Having said that, I would be interested in something which was more efficient and required less desk space but it would need to be priced at or near prices of keyboards.
I've never tried Google Glass but I would imagine that if the screen was projected onto the glasses lense and you could type with the Twiddler, then you could get some work done on the bus, train, cafe.
Just a thought.
Looks like a cheap TV clicker for the price of a nice mechanical keyboard.
If I want a one-handed keyboard I'll go with an old DIY idea of mine - the guitar keyboard... a ~7x7 matrix of metal strings and frets, plenty of combinations, little need for chording, good tactile feedback. I wonder if anyone anyone's done that yet...
For me, that posture's the natural curl of the hand in its relaxed position, or when holding the shaft of my joystick[*].
I've been looking for a chording keyboard for ages, ever since seeing an advert for the Quinkey in 1984 (http://www.naec.org.uk/artefacts/hardware/quinkey); I'm very conscious that my entire income is dependent on my ability to fend off RSI, and I'd love a text entry mode which allows me to rest one hand. But not 175 pounds looking.
[*] You're welcome to whatever mental image you like here, but the one *I'm* talking about is my Logitech Wingman flight stick. WHICH I USE TO PLAY KSP WITH, GODDAMMIT.
I'd be tempted to give it a go. I'd looked into other chordboards previously as a method to relieve the damage done to my aching wrists by years of programming (apparently they can help - no dodgy desk resting positions, etc). What I'm wondering is - if it's Bluetooth connected, could you up your chording speed by holding one in each hand? ;-)
I've always liked the idea of the Microwriter and bought a Twiddler many years ago. It was not multi-platform and so I abandoned it. Dog knows where it is now.
I'd buy one of these to help me with my accounts, where I need to type details from stacks of receipts into a spreadsheet. At the moment I use voice recognition software but that's not 100% reliable (e.g. "for pound 50" instead of "£4.50").
A Twiddler would let me pick up each receipt to read it and type in the details at the same time.
Why does it have to be so for king expensive? Probably because it's a niche market. :-(
There are lots of software keyboards for smartphones and tablets alike, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest… However you can't have it.
Last year, Microsoft bought Nuance for just shy of $20 billion, mainly for its voice-to-text tools. Nuance also owned Swype, which it killed off in 2018. Microsoft, meanwhile, also owns Swiftkey, which it still offers.
Review Logitech has rounded out its Master series with the MX Mechanical keyboard and MX Master 3S mouse. Both cost serious money, but are they worth it?
So many mechanical keyboards put function ahead of form. Put less charitably, they're ugly as sin. The Logitech Pop, a $100 wireless mechanical keyboard, tries to play both sides of the field.
Alibaba's DingTalk collaboration suite has entered "extended reality" with a new offering powered by smart glasses.
DingTalk offers messaging, video conferencing, and other collaboration tools.
Released yesterday, "DingTalk XR" extends the DingTalk experience into what the company has called "extended reality" by running on smart glasses from an outfit called Rokid.
Review The mechanical keyboard space is teeming with competition. If you're a gamer, a coder, or simply type a lot, there's something for you. But asterisk, dear reader: that's only true if you're wedded to the PC.
Friday FOSS Fest In these globally-connected-from-the-spare-bedroom times, sometimes we all need to deal with folks from far-off lands, whose names or addresses contain exotic symbols that Anglophones rarely encounter: from François to František or maybe even ﬀoulkes.
There are lots of ways to do this, such as going to copypastecharacter.com, hunting down the one you need, and, well, copying it – but the least-known one is the easiest: a Compose key.
The idea is simple: compose symbols that aren't on your keyboard by entering a sequence of ones that are. Need a Yen symbol? Just press Compose, then
y, then an equals sign, and presto, ¥. A cedilla looks like a comma underneath a letter, so that's what you type: Compose +
c + comma gets you ç. For a capitalised version, just type capital
, and Ç appears. Ça va bien. You already have a tilde key – it's the Spanish squiggle:
~. Compose +
n gives ñ, as in España. Use Compose +
~ and you can spell São Paulo correctly.
Discerning writers and programmers know that keyboards matter. It's mostly the feel, but the best feel tends to come from mechanical key switches and they make a noise as they activate.
That feeling goes hand in hand with a chorus of soft clicks… and thanks to custom keyboard guru Taeha "Nathan" Kim and weirdo label Trunk Records, you can relax to 43 minutes and 24 seconds of soothing sounds from 13 rare and limited-edition mechanical keyboards.
Your correspondent is a bit of a fan of devices like this (this piece was typed on a 1991 IBM Model M; accept no substitute) – but no such brash, commonplace kit features on the album. Instead you can luxuriate to the Alps switches of a 1987 Apple Standard (why, yes, I do happen to have one of those too, but the linear cursor keys hinder daily use), and an M0110A from a Mac Plus, as well as more exotic kit.
Review Logitech has shrunk its MX Keys wireless keyboard, but does a backlight justify Apple-esque pricing? We put it through its paces to find out.
Peripherals maker Logitech has long been a noise in the keyboard marketplace, and its MX Keys keyboard is a fan favourite (or "beloved" as company modestly described it in its fact sheet). With the MX Keys Mini, the company has stripped off the number pad and created something that looks for all the world like Apple's Magic Keyboard.
We swapped our Apple keyboard for the MX and came away impressed. Except, that is, for the price.
India's PC market has achieved new sales records, according to analyst firm IDC.
Sales of what IDC calls traditional PCs – lappies, desktops and workstations – rose 30 per cent compared to the same time last year, reaching 4.55 million units. That's about five per cent of the global market – rather behind India's 17 per cent of global population. But IDC said the quarter was the best ever for PC sales in India, even beating total yearly consumer PC shipments in 2019.
Consumers shopped more than businesses, accounting for 2.3 million PC sales across the quarter. Business PC purchasing grew faster though, with shipments rising 47.6 per cent year-on-year as vendors cleared order backlogs.
Updated Logitech has introduced a new range of business peripherals supporting Bolt, a secure Bluetooth Low Energy protocol - but they will not connect to the existing "Unifying Receiver".
Logi Bolt is the company's new standard for connecting business peripherals wirelessly. Bolt devices have two modes. They can connect using standard Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) to PCs and mobile devices, or users can plug a Bolt receiver into a USB socket.
Although it requires a spare USB port, using the Bolt receiver means that the connection conforms to Security Mode 1, Level 4. This is defined in the Bluetooth spec as "Authenticated LE Secure Connections pairing with encryption using a 128-bit strength encryption key."
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022