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. :-(
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