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Keyless LifeBook concept would allow users to arrange their own keyboard layout


May 20, 2011

The Keyless LifeBook concept from designer Laura Lahti would allow users total control over a laptop's keyboard layout

The Keyless LifeBook concept from designer Laura Lahti would allow users total control over a laptop's keyboard layout

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A few short weeks ago, I said what a shame it was that Minebea's gorgeous COOL LEAF touch keyboard didn't allow for different country-specific keyboard layouts. A shortlisted entry in designboom's 2011 Fujitsu Design Award competition has taken such personal configuration a stage further with a touchscreen keyboard on a full-size laptop which would allow users to arrange and configure their own layout choices.

Designer Laura Lahti's Keyless LifeBook concept appears to offer both the touchscreen benefits of something like Toshiba's Libretto W100 and the fluid keying of LiquidKeyboard, but in a full-size laptop form factor. It's not clear from the design whether a production model would feature vibration key feedback but this would certainly be a useful addition.

Apart from satisfying those of us who regularly write in more than one language and would otherwise need to seek out different keyboards, the concept would also be useful for anyone wanting to split the keyboard into different sections for ergonomic comfort or gaming efficiency, for instance. Users might wish to place a numeric keypad to the left instead of the more familiar right-hand placement. Being a touchscreen affair also means that any touchpad area could also be positioned for personal comfort, or simply moved out of the way when not needed.

The nature of this appealing design also lends itself to custom color layouts and after-hours background illumination - useful for writers burning the midnight oil or gamers wanting to lower the lights for a more immersive experience.

The outright winner of the Fujitsu Design Award 2011: A Life with Future Computing competition will walk away with EUR30,000 (US$42,819), and EUR10,000 (US$14,274) will be awarded to one runner-up from the LifeBook and Life-Design categories - Lahti's keyboard shares its name with the category in which it's entered. The judges will also give seven entries a special award of EUR1,000 (US$1,427). Results will be announced shortly.

Source: designboom

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden
1 Comment

Hardly a good idea. Most users dont\' think, they just USE the products. People don\'t want to think and make decisions - they like when everything works fine \"out-of-the-box\". THAT IS WHY Apple Inc. never asks users what they want, neither they suggest users to optimize their devices - they give user almost a perfect device from the beginning, which doesn\'t require a person to think over which keyboard layout would be the best. And what if I do NOT know which layout is perfect? This game with user making better settings for their devices are GONE.

Михаил Финогенов
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