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'Cool Leaf' input devices are flat, shiny, stunning

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March 3, 2010

'Cool Leaf' input devices are flat, shiny, stunning

'Cool Leaf' input devices are flat, shiny, stunning

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Developed in collaboration with professor Kazuo Kawasaki, Minebea's new line of input devices are some of the slickest you'll ever see. Their Cool Leaf series, which includes a keyboard, a remote control, and a calculator, features flat acrylic mirrored surfaces with a capacitive touch panel. When turned on the devices display a backlit input interface, but when turned off the surface looks just like a regular mirror.

Cool Leaf devices' flat design mean that they can be cleaned by simply wiping the surface, rather than fumbling about between keys as you would while cleaning conventional keypads or keyboards.

'Cool Leaf' input devices are flat, shiny, stunning

Minebea says that they aim to bring Cool Leaf input to other digital devices in the future, including telecommunication, housing, and medical equipment. They hope to implement haptic technology as well, so that when you touch keys on their interfaces your fingers receives some sort of feedback.

One doesn't usually get very enthusiastic over keyboards, calculators, and remote controls, but this Cool Leaf series looks so futuristic it's hard not to feel just a little bit excited!

Minebea via TechOn

'Cool Leaf' input devices are flat, shiny, stunning
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4 Comments

The looks are striking (except would the finger smudges begin to detract?) but I am interested in the thought that went into the ergonomics.

Traditional keyboards are alot about "feel" and the force and feedback that are appropriate. Keyboard developers have had to take into account that too much resistance not only causes discomfort but can cause carpal tunnel and other repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Depending on the contact force required, typing onto a hard surface with no give at all would transmit all the stroke shock back through the finger. Perhaps a "soft", clear surface design that absorbs shock and provides feel might be more interesting?

okhalifa
3rd March, 2010 @ 08:36 pm PST

Lack of tactile feedback would be the hardest thing to adjust to. Like the concept though.

Facebook User
4th March, 2010 @ 06:13 am PST

@Okhalifa, these probably wouldn't be used for prolonged touch typing... just inputing a few keystrokes here or there. two of the three demos are remotes, which don't require prolonged carpal tunnel inducing typing.

Again, use the typing tool best suited for the task, and it's nice to have options. A regular keyboard would be best for prolonged typing, and this "cool leaf" design for less intensive tasks.

The whole point is that finger smudges can be wiped clean quickly due to the smooth surface.

Cheers,

Doc

matthew.rings
4th March, 2010 @ 05:47 pm PST

like most modern "improvements" it only dresses it up while making it nearly useless. Some day people will realize that looks are not everything and function is at least 75% of the equation...

Artisteroi
28th April, 2011 @ 07:31 am PDT
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