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Input Device

The first left-handed mouse - shaped, cordless, laser, US$60

March 9, 2006 Roughly 13% of the population is left-handed, meaning there are around 850 million people on planet earth with a preference for using their left hand for a variety of tasks, including throwing, pointing, catching and presumably, using a computer. Astonishingly, there has never been a mouse designed just for left handed computer users until Logitech announced its MX610 left-hand Laser Cordless Mouse at CeBIT today. Until now, most left-handed computer users have only had the choice of navigating with an ambidextrous-shaped mouse or unnaturally using their right hand to scroll, point and click.  Read More

The IP-Talky multimedia keyboard with built-in VOIP handset

February 7, 2006 When Nicholas Negroponte drew his famous convergence Venn diagram more than three decades ago, he forecast the convergence of broadcast, telecommunications, computing, and publishing. Since then, the acceleration of this trend has been increasing and there’s no doubt the computer and telephone are in the process of morphing right now. In recent times we’ve seen many different form factors for this, with several VOIP telephone/mouse combinations and multitudinous USB and wireless VOIP handsets and now computer peripherals specialist A4 Tech has announced it will debut a new Talky multimedia keyboard with built-in VOIP handset at CEBIT in Hannover, Germany on March 9.  Read More

The three-key mini-keyboard with OLED screen on each key

February 5, 2006 Last July we wrote about the Optimus keyboard from Russian design studio Art.Lebedev – the keyboard uses OLED technology so that every key is a stand-alone display showing exactly what it is controlling at that moment. Accordingly, you can switch from language to language, or program to program and the functionality of the key will be reflected in the image it shows. The Optimus won’t be available until December 2006, but the company will have a three key Optimus mini auxiliary keyboard available by May, 2006, with each of the keys having an OLED screen displaying the current function. If you don’t quite understand what this makes possible, check out this page which explains the concept visually (click around all the text links).  Read More

ElekTex Smart Fabric keyboard goes wireless

January 16, 2006 Let’s get one thing straight before we start – we hate the QWERTY keyboard. It was invented some time in the 1860s yet still exists today as the principal Computer Human Interface (CHI) and the main limitation we face every day in getting information into computers, as it was designed a century before humanity knew diddly about CHI design. It makes computers bigger than they need to be, is responsible for more lower back, shoulder and RSI pain than seems right, and … well, because we’re old dogs, and have trouble learning new tricks, we appear stuck with this technological curse. Thanks – we feel much better having shared that. Now, there’s a new keyboard for tiny devices that makes lots of sense - the ElekTex Smart Fabric keyboard is designed for Smart phones, PDAs and handheld devices, is lightweight, portable, full laptop-sized and now … wireless.  Read More

Skype mouse telephone by Sony

January 13, 2006 Now here’s a good idea from Sony that doesn’t quite fit with the company’s normal fare. Sony will release a VOIP telephone crossed with a mouse onto the Japanese market next month. Dubbed MouseTalk, it looks and acts like a normal scroll wheel mouse, but when a call comes in on Skype, the mouse flashes its LED lights and emits a customisable sound. The mouse opens like a clamshell phone, becoming a Skype handset and it can also be used in hands-free mode. When used as a telephone, the mouse scroll-wheel adjusts the volume and clicking the wheel can mute the microphone.  Read More

Field Tested: Logitech and Microsoft Media Centric Keyboards

September 13, 2005 As society enters the next phase of embracing the computer - welcoming it into our loungerooms - every computer manufacturer and peripheral maker is dreaming up new ways of how they're going to break into the entertainment and consumer electronics business. Logitech and Microsoft are no exception, they have just released media center devices to help you transform your PC into the media hub of the future. Interestingly, though Microsoft is far better known for its Windows operating system, it has more than 200 people working in hardware development at redmond - which makes it the world's most focussed developer of keyboards and mice. Last year it conducted research across the world looking at how the world is using computers and the media centric keyboard is the result of that research. Dave Weinstein looked at both keyboards and concludes that Microsoft's research is beginning to show ...  Read More

The keyboard with two rear vision mirrors!

August 16, 2005 Sometimes when we cover a story, we suddenly find out how much we don’t know (lots). Three days ago we wrote about all the (clever but) weird keyboards we’d written about recently when we covered Logitech’s G15 Keyboard, listing no less than nine different, interesting keyboards that help solve some of the many problems associated with a device that was designed 137 years ago. Yes folks, the keyboard you’re slaving over is a dinosaur masquerading as high tech and it’s no wonder that everyone thinks they can build a better one, because they probably can. Indeed, in the short space of three days, we’ve had half a dozen readers write to us saying, “hey, you should write about this cool keyboard.” Well, we’ve fudged it slightly by bundling the new lot all together, but if you follow this link you’ll see a new keyboard replacement for controlling model trains, a vertical ergonomic keyboard with rear vision mirrors (so you can see the keys) and a bunch of different programmable key pads that can be used for almost any set of tasks you can think of.  Read More

Logitech’s G15 Keyboard with adjustable-tilt LCD display and extra programmable keys

August 13, 2005 For a technology almost certainly destined for the scrapheap as some people might have you believe, the keyboard is sure getting a lot of attention. In recent times we've reported on the VisiKey, DAS, Keyscan, Maltron, Matias, orbiTouch, Optimus, SureType and Virtual keyboards. Logitech's G15 keyboard does not wish to replace the methodology of the keyboard - just significantly enhance it. Designed to provide an unprecedented level of programmability and control, the Logitech G15 keyboard is the the ultimate keyboard for serious PC gamers. The first keyboard in the G-series family of gaming-grade peripherals, the Logitech G15 keyboard features a built-in auxiliary LCD display, 18 programmable keys, and advanced software, making it easy to set up custom commands for every game. The adjustable-tilt, backlit LCD can be programmed to display vital in-game information, or data from other applications, without interrupting game play.  Read More

Optimus Keyboard by Art.Lebedev

July 16, 2005 Moscow-based design studio Art. Lebedev may be Russia’s largest design house but it didn’t quite expect the reaction it received when it posted its latest creation, the Optimus keyboard. The keyboard uses OLED technology so that every key is a stand-alone display showing exactly what it is controlling at that moment. Accordingly, you can switch from language to language, or program to program and the functionality of the key will be reflected in the image it shows. If the response to the company’s web site posting is any indication, the keyboard is already a runaway hit, with 230,000 page views and an average two emails a minute from people wanting the keyboard. In brief, the keyboard is likely to become available in 2006, will be OS-independent and “will cost less than a good mobile phone.” It will be open source (a software developers kit will be available) and companies can OEM the keyboard. Indeed, there may even be an ergonomic version.  Read More

Product Evaluation: Maltron Keyboard

May 29, 2005 Gizmag reader Joe Blake reports on his experiences with the Maltron Keyboard. Joe has been a court reporter since 1990, producing 10,000+ words a day, which he calculates to more than 200 million keystrokes over the last ten years. When he switched from touch-typing on a QWERTY keyboard to the Maltron keyboard, his productivity improved immensely. He can now “transcribe a single person speaking in real time, all day, every day, with no problems.”  Read More

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