Readers of a certain age will remember, probably with fondness, the computer-in-a-keyboard form factor exemplified by the likes of the Atari 800XL or the mighty Commodore 64. We've seen several impressive attempts at revival in the recent past, including efforts from Barry S Altman's Commodore USA
. Now China's FocusWill Information Technology is getting in on the act with an Android-flavored, keyboard-based desktop computer called the CoolShip.
Speedlink has launched a new full-size Bluetooth keyboard named ATHERA that's capable of simultaneously connecting with five devices, regardless of resident operating system. Should you worry that this might lead to accidental texts to your boss or embarrassing updates to social network feeds, fear not. Key combinations initiated by the user determine which device the keyboard is wirelessly communicating with at any one time.
Logitech has just announced a new keyboard cover for the iPad mini, aptly named the Ultrathin Keyboard mini. To go along with its 7.3-mm (0.29-inch) thin form factor, Logitech has also focused on making the keyboard light enough to retain the iPad mini's portability. In fact, the keyboard cover weighs in at only 220 grams (0.48 lb).
As Jon Jones was regulating his hurdy gurdy back in 2001, he began toying with the idea of creating a mechanically-bowed instrument with a full-scale chromatic keyboard. He went on to build two working models before hooking up with Antiquity Music's founder Mitchell Manger to work on improving the design. After a few more revisions, a stunning pre-production Wheelharp was premiered at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim (CA) last week.
Should you find yourself thinking about supergroups, you'll likely center on the famous names that make up the bands and not the instruments they use. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, for example, rather than the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275, or Cream's Jack Bruce instead of his Gibson EB-3, or Brad Wilk of Audioslave/RATM and not the custom Gretsch drumkits he uses. Being as much fans of the tech behind the hits as the talented folks who create them, we've grouped together a super collection of favorite music-making gadgets from the past year.
ROCCAT Studios recently revealed the latest iteration of its Isku
line of gaming keyboards, which feature backlit keys for late-night sessions. Rather than just having one color to choose from, as in last year's model, the company's new Isku FX Multicolor Gaming Keyboard lights up in a range of 16.8 million colors, which can now be programmed to match in-game actions.
Keyboards have come a long way from the plastic dust traps of yesteryear. In just the past few months, we've seen virtual keyboards
that project onto any surface and gloves
that let users "type" in thin air. Now a handful of inventors have created the Qii, a thin, flexible keyboard that connects wirelessly to smart devices and rolls up into a portable case that fits in your pocket.
Electronics and computer peripherals company Belkin has released a new portable keyboard case for the iPad mini
which promises to bring both a level of protection, and a physical keyboard to Apple's diminutive tablet.
The iPad's touch screen can be both a blessing and a curse. While touch input can be great for some applications, the onscreen keyboard can be found lacking when text input is required. Of course, the solution to that came quickly in the form of cases with Bluetooth keyboards built-in
. However, most of these still have two issues; they generally aren't full size, yet they still tend to add a lot of bulk. This new case out of Japan solves those problems by offering a small form factor and a full-sized keyboard.
As input methods like the Gauntlet
and the back-type prototype
from AlphaUI effectively demonstrate, there are many novel ways to enter text into a computer system. I'll wager that few (if any) Gizmag readers would consider using a set of drums to type out messages, though. But that's precisely what Alec Smecher has done. He readily admits that it's not the most practical typing solution but it is helping him to hone his skills as a bucket banger.