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Hogging two spots (a not patented? UI idea)

Has anyone attempted to make a dynamic keyboard?  Imagine seeing your keyboard form different "application specific" keys and controls as you switch tasks.  The controls are 3 dimensional, and you can press them, twist them, or rub them.

I was trying to think of a way to do this well.  I came up with some gel, a pincushion, and some magnets.

Do you think this is possible?  It could do wonders for the game and porn industries ;)

Wayne
Monday, June 07, 2004

Something like this : http://www.ergodex.com/products/ ?

Damian
Monday, June 07, 2004

Hey that is hilarious.

I checked out the link, neat idea except only 25 keys? I guess it isn't designed for the average joe. (Last time I checked the majority of the computer users in the world had a 26 letter alphabet).

Neat idea posed by the OP though.

Aussie Chick
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Surely that ergodex thing is aimed at gamers, only 25 keys does pose some limitations for normal use, but is more than enough for most pc based RPGs and first person shooters.  No more painfully awkward key layout, just move them to somewhere comfortable!!  Creadit card might be leaving my wallet soon.....

anonymouse
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The function keys are supposed to be application specific keys.  Remember those f-key templates people used to put over the keyboard for Word Perfect:  http://www.mtmonthly.com/runmac/wp51keys.jpg

Matthew Lock
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

> only 25 keys? I guess it isn't designed for the average joe

Well, the average number of fingers per person is less than ten.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004


They have this concept at Microcenter (and probably other places).

You buy the base keyboard and then depending on what app or game you want, you buy literal plugin keys that drop into the keyboard.  This key set has all the mappings, quick commands and such.

I've seen these for Word, Age of Empires, etc.


Now that I think about it, since all of those are MS products, I'd wage that the keyboard is an MS product, but I don't know for sure.

KC
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

What kind of keyboard would you use to hack the Gibson?

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The programmable keyboard was patented by a guy named Dave McGonagle at GE Research back in the early 80s. He had in mind and APL keyboard at the time where a language sensative editor would actually change the key symbols to all those little math squiggles and such that APL used.

old_timer
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Here's and idea: a keyboard with only one key. Use an expert system to predict which character the user will need to press next, then morph the key into it.

This would be especially good for porn site visitors who can't type very well (commonly known as huntin' peckers).

Anony Coward
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

OP, I did this 15+ years ago.

(Not the 3d keys stuff, obviously).

We had a keyboard with an LCD panel built into it above the function keys.

The display would change depending on which [Dealing Room] system was being used.

This is when everybody used weird CTRL+ALT F3 etc functions for everything. When WordPerfect et al came with a piece of plastic that did the same job that fitted above the function keys.

Justin
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Philo-

Whatever.  <keanu-whine>I just want room service.</keanu-whine>

OP:  tangentially related, but what about these?  http://www.fingerworks.com

Sam Livingston-Gray
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Anony-coward:

Something like what you suggest has been done in software: http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/

Cool idea.

Jeff Kotula
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Uh, Sam - did you *get* the reference?

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

>Here's and idea: a keyboard with only one key. Use an expert system to predict which character the user will need to press next, then morph the key into it.

I love it.

Aussie Chick
Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Why have a keyboard at all?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17434-2003Oct12?language=printer 

AND

http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/dll/bci_nov2003.html

<quote>

Nicolelis said the important point was that the principle had been shown to work: People can control devices merely by thinking.

</quote>

KayJay
Friday, June 11, 2004

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