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Very Cool, Very Vaporous 1-Handed Keyboard 92

beckett sent us linkage to one of the more bizarre one handed keyboards that I've seen in recent memory. It doesn't contain really anything technical (just a stupid rant about how people talk more during games (duh! I kept getting destroyed last night in tetrinet because I was busy screaming when I should have been dropping pieces) Update: 12/02 09:27 PM by CT : Ok, apparently it actually is 2 handed, it just looks weird and the buttons seem to be on one side.
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Very Cool, Very Vaporous 1-Handed Keyboard

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  • I can see where these one-handed keyboards would come in quite handy -- particularly while downloading porn.
  • by GuavaBerry ( 50743 ) on Saturday December 02, 2000 @08:35AM (#586643)
    The CTD Resource Network [ctdrn.org] has a very fine examination on all kinds of keyboards, including several like the one you're looking for. These are all, as to be expected, quite pricey, but each has something to offer to everybody.

    The Alternative Keyboard FAQ [tifaq.org]

    I fully agree that too many 'ergonomic' keyboards still require typists to squeeze their shoulders together. I would really love a typing solution that let me place my hands wherever I please (like a motion-sensitive pair of gloves, or a pair of flexible mats), so I can reposition my arms however I like (on my lap, at my sides) and not lose any typing speed.
  • "Position sensors" are inherently difficult to do. If the glove is to be used anywhere, then it would probably have mechanical (and thus heavy and unwieldy) position sensing.

    There are, however, gloves that you simply touch the finger tips to the thumb. I'm not sure if there would be enough combinations for a complete keyboard, since a "keystroke" takes both a finger and a thumb. There are probably ways around this, for example, simply putting pressure sensors and then do all the chording on a table top or something.
  • that it looks rather like a grapefruit

    http://angelfire.com/mt/streeter [angelfire.com] visit and email me...
  • The Fitaly layout is optimized for one-finger (i.e. stylus) input, not one complete hand. There are variants of the Dvorak layout optimized for one-hand use, and they would probably be among the best choices for a one-hand keyboard that has one key per letter. OTOH, from the picture this isn't a one-handed keyboard at all, but a gamepad with an alphabetic keyboard attached for your thumbs. A two-thumb optimized layout would probably end up being more like Fitaly than any other existing layout.

  • Here's the only one-handed keyboard with mainstream potential:

    1. www.halfkeyboard.com [halfkeyboard.com]

    You touch type with one hand USING YOUR EXISTING SKILLS. We debuted it at Comdex, the week before last.


  • this device seems interesting, but as others pointed out, you have to scrunch your shoulders together to use it. Not too appealing.

    Plus ... 40 to 60 wpm just isn't that fast. Many typists can type around 80 wpm when they're being careful (1 or 2% error rate), and far faster when situations are more forgiving. That said, the speed seems underwhelming.

  • by dbarclay10 ( 70443 ) on Saturday December 02, 2000 @08:55AM (#586649)
    You could also monitor the position and force of the tendons in the wrist; this is very doable with current technology. Maybe even cheap.

    Some research would have to be done one exactly what tendon-positions make which key-press, and it might turn out that it's impossible to tell. There's also the problem with people who don't have tendons near enough to the skin to be able to detect properly. People with particularily muscular wrists, or people who have a lot of fat might pose problems.

    Training would be incredibly easy. One could just wear the gloves, hook the keyboard into the gloves, hook the gloves into the computer, and whenever you press a key the gloves record the position of the tendons(and their force and such), and remember which key was pressed. This needs a fair bit of intelligence on the part of the gloves(I'm actually thinking more of wrist-bands, not gloves), but things are small enough today that it shouldn't pose a problem.

    I don't know enough about alternative power sources, but this device would need much at all if it could harness a bit of the energy whenever your tendons move. This could be very tiring if too much force is required to power the device, but I don't think much would be needed.

    Anyways, food for thought.


    Barclay family motto:
    Aut agere aut mori.
    (Either action or death.)
  • The link is now returning a 404. Could someone post a mirror?

    Thanks :)
  • by burris ( 122191 ) on Saturday December 02, 2000 @08:57AM (#586651)
    Check out this [berkeley.edu]. They think they can shrink the whole thing into a 1-2mm speck on the end of each fingernail.


  • I actually like this idea! It's music to my ears!

    Maybe it could also detect the force in which you play for caps, bolds, etc.

    So what happens when you play "Stairway to heaven?"
  • Well, the electric to midi conversion is out there (roland G8, Synth-Axe etc) so I guess someone just need to hack together a kernel module.
  • and to hear the lamentations of their women

    Hah that was funny, thank you Mr. AC

    Fire Jon Katz. Hire Neal Stephenson. (make this your sig too)
  • I had a twiddler, and it was a pretty cool concept, but my hand hurt after using it, and it turned out to be ergnomically a lot worse (for me) than a regular keyboard. I had to apply a lot of force to press the buttons, with my hand in odd positions.

    In my experience a light touch is the way to avoid wrist problems etc.; that wasn't possible with the twiddler, and I'm skeptical about this one too. If you're holding a mechanism up by putting your fingers between the buttons, the buttons have to be significantly stiffer to avoid spurious keypresses.

  • It seems like this thing has 'bout half of the letters on the thumb-side, and the other half of the alfabet on the backside.

    But what about characters not used in the english alfabet? In Norway we have æ, ø, å, and most non-english languages has at least two-three special letters.

  • Doh! I wish I had all my disks with me!

    Somewhere, I've got a .jpg file of the "new micro$oft" keyboard. It's basically just like any other keyboard, except it only uses the keys that you use most. It's truely a breakthrough in one handed keyboard design. BTW, it only uses the Control/Alt/Deltete keys.

  • by MrP- ( 45616 )
    http://members.xoom.it/dabonline/Gallery/funny/fun ny07/new_microsoft_keyboard.jpg [members.xoom.it]

    there you go :)

    Oh my god, I've been bitch slapped by Slashdot, You Bastard!
  • "It would be simple to come up with a sleeker design that was just a glove that strapped onto your hand and could be used anywhere."

    I've had that idea for a while now. Pizo sensors on the fingertips to detect a keystroke, and some type of positioning sensor in the fingers of the glove, to determine finger position (so the glove would know what key you are typing). Does anybody have an info or links on something like this? Think of what a compact, affordable set of keyboard gloves could do for the PDA market. As PDA's quickly become faster and more powerful, data input is becoming the real limiting factor to their versatility. Keyboards, even folding ones, aren't always practical to carry, nor are they particularly durable.

  • A twiddler, I can just drop into my laptop bag.

    I've got one of these too... My hands are fairly large (5'11" with very square palms) but the twiddler is just a shade too big to use comfortably. I'd love to redesign the case and get something with the buttons arranged in a more ergonomic fashion. The combination of mouse+keyboard in one device was a very cool idea, though.

  • Surely the adjective is 'vapid' not 'vaporous'? Although neither of them should be taken literally :-)
  • There was an article in Time Digital (of all places) several months ago about that sort of thing. I have no idea if I could hunt it down now, though.
  • A little pricey to be sure, but they look really keen [virtex.com]. They'll have a real winner here when they (1) lose the big "instrumentation package", (2) reduce the power requirement from 2.5W, and (3) make it affordable to Everyman.

    Why are these things so expensive?

  • Anyone ever think about using an electric guitar as a keyboard?

    I just did..

    You could write software that detects different notes and converts em into characters, and you could use an midi card .. wonder what it would be like to type with a guitar? :)

    and then you could go in reverse, chars to guitar notes, and then like a band can release a song where all the guitar notes when played as a keyboard write out the decss code :)

    it could be cool, someone make it, now!

    Oh my god, I've been bitch slapped by Slashdot, You Bastard!
  • Very, very cool. This should get modded up; it's definitely one of the better trolls!
  • QWERTY sux, at least use Dvorak... it works on standard hardware and every platform.
  • Maltron [maltron.com] makes a one-handed keyboard [maltron.com] (either hand), that doesnt use chording. I ran across it while looking for my current keyboard. It looks absolutely insane, but might be what you had in mind ;)
  • now THIS is something i would buy, rock on!
  • I'd rather have a half keyboard than a button-bloated joypad. Typing speed is mostly a result of practice!

    The philosophy of a depressive cyborg is: Simplicity, Efficiency, Versatility, Security, Privacy
  • They used that on the movie "Flubber" with Robin Williams,
    it looked really complicated at the time, but now that I know how to touch type,
    I realize it wouldn't be that hard to master
  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Saturday December 02, 2000 @07:23AM (#586671) Journal
    I'd rather keyboards have a left component and a right component, perhaps communicating by bluetooth ... despite their assertion, this looks anything but comfortable to use while lying down, because you would have to scrunch your shoulders to the center in order to grasp the device. Lying on your side? Forget it!

    How about a simple (not chording) keyboard that's split in the middle not by a few degrees of angle, but not a cord that lets you position them a few feet apart?

  • With the AlphaGrip, gamers can continue playing without putting their controller down to use a keyboard. On the Internet the more popular games require text entry and Webmasters at gaming sites indicate that their visitors spend more time chatting and instant messaging their friends than they do actually playing games.

    Yes, the text is definitely just written to get VC funding. Speaking of which, how many of actually use controllers to play games alone? Simply put, its much easier to just buy a mouse with enough buttons to equal a controller (with the exception of some Microsoft products and a few others). The keyboard always makes up for the rest and adds more EFFICIENT functionality than a controller could have. And finally, why the hell would you use a controller to chat in a room? I'd rather use one of those pens for a Palm than scrunch up if I don't have a computer around. And finally, most internet games do use a resolution so high that you'd need a laptop, not one of these things hooked up to a puny Palm screen or whatever else they have in mind. To sum it up, even if you can type faster, there simply is no practical use or advantage gained, especially if you already know how to use a keyboard.

  • Or does the hand-model just have small hands?

  • from the picture this isn't a one-handed keyboard at all, but a gamepad with an alphabetic keyboard attached for your thumbs.

    If you dig through the site a bit more, it's clearly shown to have the keyboard on the underside, with thumb controls for various functions on the top. The keys appear to be rocker switches, with multidirectional activation -- so your fingers never leave the key, they just twitch in different directions.

    I'd have to use it to be convinced...


  • by jfunk ( 33224 ) <jfunk@roadrunner.nf.net> on Saturday December 02, 2000 @07:29AM (#586675) Homepage
    It doesn't look very one handed to me. Just because there's only one hand in the pic doesn't mean that it can reach all of those buttons on the other side.

    Actually, it looks a hell of a lot more like a gamepad. A hell of a lot more confusing.

    I haven't tried it, obviously, but it looks really hard to get comfortable with. They appear to claim 50wpm. I bet that's the maximum someone's been able to get out of a prototype, the average being much lower.

    It looks ok for games which require keyboard keys all the time, but most intelligent people play those with a mouse or a one-handed analog joystick anyway. The Twiddler looks much better for someone looking for a keyboard, rather than a gamepad.
  • Now if they made a full-sized PC like one of those things... - schweet!
  • Who cares? It's only something you would have to learn once. Also, if you look at the twiddler -http://www.handykey.com - you will see the device is a chording keyboard that does have the keys labled. You can hunt & peck all you like.

    I personally think that having the letters on QWERTY keyboards is the reason there are so many people out there that cannot type at all. There is a reason that pianos don't have the letters written on the keys you know...


  • Where do you play? Do you play classic tnet or pure? Some how I think it would be fun to play /. authors in tetrinet...

  • Non-English? What about: café, résumé, encyclopædia, and naïve? True, these words came from other languages, but they're English words that use diacritical marks and ligatures. These other letters certainly have a raison d'être on an English keyboard. So I agree, I hope they paid attention to such characters....
  • AlphaGrip's (AG's) patented text input solution allows
    users to type at the rate of 50+ wpm - anywhere

    It's 'legal patent' of just patent at the shirt?
    Another patent issue for /.ers :)
  • subjects of a Focus Group and a Usability Study indicate a faster learning curve (compared to touch typing on a keyboard)

    Wow, they managed to find users who haven't used a computer or typewriter keyboard. I think that's surprising or something.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hello Slashdot my old friend.
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    because a haxor softly creeping,
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    upon the threads... of Slashdot.

    In flick'ring lights I type along.
    Submit my post, what was wrong?
    Letters haloed by my squinting,
    at the flame that I was typing.
    For my eyes were blurred
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    and all the trolls... on Slashdot.

    And in the fuzzy light I saw
    10,000 zealots, maybe more:
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    disturb the Perl... of Slashdot)

    "Fools," said I, "you do not know.
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    Meta mod 'cause we ignore them."
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  • If a patented invention is actually new, useful, and non-obvious, the patent should be granted. Slashdotters have a beef with the USPTO's inability to see the stupidity in applications for patents on inventions such as XOR cursor, spreadsheet recalculation, one-click shopping, DDR SDRAM (by its biggest competitor), etc. for which the patent owner builds its business around suing its competitors. (Read More... [mit.edu])
  • Yeah, I must be... except if I take a look at "Help"... "About Netscape Navigator"... it tells me I'm not using IE. Moron.
  • force feedback....for the online sex industry
  • Chording is the only way to have a device that is simple and doesn't have a jillion keys on it. I am typing this on a BAT keyboard with just my left hand and there are only 7 buttons on it. It would be simple to come up with a sleeker design that was just a glove that strapped onto your hand and could be used anywhere.

    Contrary to intuition, chording is very easy to learn and doesn't interfere with your other keyboard memory. I've only been using it for a day and I'm already getting pretty good at it.


  • I don't know about you, but no matter how many of these things I try, nothing has yet beat the speed and usability of my good old straight keyboard and a mouse.

    I mean, the addition of more buttons and a mouse wheel a-la the M$ Intellimouse Explorer is a definate plus, but the mouse itself is still the fastest way I've found to work.

    others may prefer trackballs or touchpads, and that's fine, still others like those bizarre "natural keyboards" that set my teeth on edge...

    Final Analysis: These things may be fine for some people, but as far as I can see, if they were looking for the "killer-app" of keyboard input, this ain't it.


  • Wouldn't one arm get really big if you used this thing very often?

    Well, I guess I could use my left, and balance myself out.

  • Can anyone find the patent that they refer to, and figure out whether it would cover anything with the same user-interface? I tried poking around a bit on their website and a patent database, but to no avail.

    Can't say I'd be excited about trading in QWERTY for a proprietary interface.

  • Why use Alphagrip, when you can just reprogram your old nice Lego Mindstorms RCX? Hell, why not program a couple RCX's to type letters according to how you step on them!

    ...then you have your arms free for another keyboard, so you efficiently can control two consoles at one time!

    Code more efficiently!

  • just clicking on the article the same thing as reading it? Obviously if you people had taken the time to really check this thing out, you would understand how pretty damn cool this is. Firstly, its not a "one-handed" device as the title mistook it for. The reason they thought that was because the picture of the guy holding it was doing so with one hand. Secondly, it does have a reliance on a central point, as Timothy pointed out. But this, in my mind, is neglegable. I used to be an avid console gamer (before i got my first pc : ) so I'm used to the central handheld controler. I think it would be a great way to get kids who know the N64/PSX/DC game pads by heart to learn how to type. As for me, i would buy this thing (assuming i had the cash) because it still looks comfortable. I like the idea of using rocker switches to mimic the finger movement, but it leaves out the wrist travel (and controtions) thus lowering strain. And if you tell me to get an ergonimic keyboard, i would love to, but im just a poor college freshman without a job or money. I'm also on a laptop and having 2 keyboards seems like more pain than what its worth. also i've been designing an entertainment machine (hdd vcr (with cd writer for digital copies)/dvd player/gaming machine) and i think it would serisously kick ass for that. it would be much better than using a wireless kb/mouse and having to stow them off to the side and then use them on your lap. I know its probably vapor, and if it does come out it will have the same popularity as ACT Lab's PC light gun system, but what the hell, I still give it my approval.
  • by K8Fan ( 37875 ) on Saturday December 02, 2000 @09:39AM (#586692) Journal

    One of the most telling things about the thing's vapor status, is the improbable reverse curve display. Especially obvious on the zoomed view [twomobile.com] of the alleged device. God help us all when industrial designers get ahold of displays that can be bent and formed into convex and concave shapes.

    Yep, the only type of person stupid enough to possibly fall for this is a Wall Street investor.

    Dreadful ergonomics too. This is an example not of ergonomic design, but of the insidious and evil "ergonomic style" design. Not actually good or comfortable to use, it just has to losely resemble stuff that does. Blegh!

  • Is it just me, or does the verbage on the site just look like an attempt to extract maximal venture capital cash?

    The picture looks like anything _but_ a keyboard -- ergonomic palm pilot (whoops -- should have patented that), funky gameboy with extra buttons, a 101 function universal remote control with a button for every function...

    I like the idea of a one handed keyboard, but I don't think this is it. Has anyone made a one handed keyboard that isn't a chording setup? Seems like we're due for a new human-computer input device -- maybe a 3d joystick you hold like a pencil or something... who knows...
  • that this will never get big, it looks too..... cumbersome always having to hold it and such but what do i know

    http://angelfire.com/mt/streeter [angelfire.com] vist and email me...
  • I don't really understand why we need another device for one-handed typing. Does anybody know about a standard (and accompanying software) that accomplishes a full 100 character set over a standard 10-key number keypad with chording? I think this is a GREAT idea. Then you could still use your existing hardware. But, I'd probably want to use my right hand anyway, because...

    The REAL advantage of a mapping like this would be the ability to map an identically sized pad, turned 90 degrees, to the screen of my Palm. Nine keys would be on the screen in a 3 x 3 grid, and the Palm's graffiti writing area could be the tenth. The lower physical buttons all could be accessed by the thumb for shift keys and the like. And a narrow three-line row for seeing what you're typing could go down the left side, the new "top" of the screen when in this typing mode.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Palm and can crank on the graffiti, but a single/chorded motion is much faster than jotted input in situations where you are taking laborious notes, like in class or at meetings. After you got used to it, you could just about keep your head up since there would only be nine or so virtual keys to worry with. The thumb resting on the real buttons would keep your other fingers in place after a little practice.

    I would personally pay $100US to anyone that wrote such a thing and the corresponding desktop software. (I'm no hacker.) Anybody interested or interested in adding to the pot? I'd be willing to throw in web site design and maintenance if there are any serious takers, say at 9key.sourceforge.net or www.9key.org (other suggestions?). It would have to be GPL, with a max $5 for distribution of binaries through www.PalmGear.com. Anyone?

  • The fact that CmdrTaco was playing Tetrinet on a Friday night says more about:
    • (a) The sad state of Linux gaming.
    • (b) The sad state of CmdrTaco's social life.
  • My hands are fairly large (5'11" with very square palms)

    God DAMN, those are big hands.

  • probably.... b.

    but, on the other hand, i was at home doing some perl and reading all night. so, are the rest of us really any better off? i kinda doubt it.


  • Back in the 80's I was dreaming of a 5-6-7-8-key keyboard - of course based on pressing multiple keys at a time, what is now called chording (?). To take my further, I envisioned a few electrodes on teh forehead, reading the small fast facial muscles, and providing the same amount of information totally hands-free.
  • That looks an awful lot like a flat display behind a curved plastic shield. Notice that the top part of the display is much deeper than the bottom.

    Also suggesting non-vaporousness is this page [eyetap.org], which includes a photo of an apparently real person using one.
  • Wow. Why no NPNaP reference tho?

    Fire Jon Katz. Hire Neal Stephenson. (make this your sig too)
  • Besides that it looks to be two-handed, 50 wpm is not exactly impressive when using two hands. Not for normal 'typing' anyway. 150 would be more impressive. I took a test once and came out above 200, I bet a *lot* of people here do the same.
  • It's called "chording" in reference to a piano, where playing multiple keys at the same time is called a chord. Same as in guitar, when you have multiple strings depressed at the same time.

    I hope it was spelt correctly!

    This is my .sig. It isn't very big.
  • Okay, this keyboard is very much -not- one-handed. But there is a "keyboard," if you will, that allows control of the keyboard and mouse functions with one hand, called the "Twiddler" - check it out at hendykey.com. It's fairly cool, MIT uses 'em for their wearable computers...
  • Seems to me a one-handed keyboard would be best utilized using the FITALY optimized one-handed keyboard. I don't know how they're arranging the keys on this thing, but they're AWEFULLY small from the look of those "design specs" they released, so unless they've got them arranged REALLY well, there are going to be some problems. Allow me to quote: "With no formal training required, the average user can achieve typing speeds of 40-60 wpm in far less time than it takes to learn how to touch type on a standard keyboard. Several major companies and government agencies are currently evaluating AG's technology." Hmm, sounds upbeat. Maybe they've developed a keyboard scheme of they're own... wow, the FITAMY keyboard! Revolutionary. Don't even get me STARTED on that little LCD. Betcha' THAT sucker has good resolution...oh yeah, and I'm sure it doesn't eat batteries at ALL. ===
  • Oops, forgot to use preview... The true link is http://www.handykey.com - you probably figured this out by now.
  • Games wouldn't be games if we took them so seriously and started concentrating fully on them. We go to play games so we can get off serious work and relax.
  • I didn't see an analog(ue) stick - did I miss something? That's pretty much essential for a modern gamepad. Also, in a pinch, you could use the analogue stick as a mouse alternative. [IMO, beats a touchpad any day.]
  • Looks like you can't pick the thing up without typing something. I wonder if a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) designer created this. A button for every task.
  • very strange thing [fufme.com]. At least is has force feedback (or would that be force feed-forward?)

  • It's not "now" called chording. It's always been called chording since it was invented by the folks at XeroxPARC, about the same time they first developed the mouse (not later than the early 1970's, I think).
  • That doesn't really work, just in case you were wondering. I've done some interface extension research, and all the results point that tendon tension is too crude. We actually did a lot of studying on this, and the annoy thing about it is the tendons will be a different tension if the wrists are turned in a different position.

    Another problem is that some people (for instance, myself) have enough skin and muscle over the tendons that you dont really get any signal from them whatsoever.

    And the final problem that comes in, calibration is a bitch. You calibrate for one person and they use it, then another person and another. After dealing with calibration matrices for each and every person, with all of the possible rotation permutations it just becomes overly intensive to monitor each option.

    A really promising approach is using dry electrodes to monitor EMG signals, these can be in the form of a tight bracelet and arm band. BioControl [biocontrol.com] has some really cool stuff in this world. Such as a quarter-size diode that sits on your forehead and you move the mouse with your eye movement, it really actually does work well too.

  • Looks like an atari Jaguar controller. Ugly rectangular keypad in the center...

    Am I supposed to type 50WPM with my thumbs, or is there some kind on chord keying method that you do with your fingers on the back?
  • I've been doing one handed typing ever since I have found pRon!

  • Looks cool, but I'm a mobile user (my main work computer is a notebook) that hunts and pecks. It looks like another solution for the people who didn't type their own way whenever the typing teacher wasn't looking :-)*

    I never type "properly." In fact, I'm typing with a cigarette in my right hand now. It's still faster than I can do properly. I'm also a musician, so chording keyboards seem natural to me.

    A twiddler, I can just drop into my laptop bag.
  • i saw a keyboard similar to that that you stuck your hand in like this sphere thing with keys under and around your fingers and it spun freely around your wrist
    i think that it was called the flower, but im not positive

    http://angelfire.com/mt/streeter [angelfire.com] visit and email me...
  • Does anyone know if there is an actual production Virtual Keyboard being made? I did a quick google search and found these guys [berkeley.edu] at Berkeley, but this looks like a design project. I'm getting worried about Carpal tunnel and arthritis and would like to do something other than bang on a keyboard all day. A keyboard glove would seem to be a solution since you are not making contact with keys, but just typing in the air.
  • I stumbled across this one in the back of the Linux Journal, looks kinda neat. personally I think the QWERTY style would be easier even with one hand, Quake with +mlook made that happen. http://www.l3sys.com/wristpc/wristpc.html [l3sys.com] This one is kinda of cool looking though.
  • Man, this would be great for surfing the web and word-processing while driving my car. Combine that activity with my hands-free cell phone and I can really be productive at 75 miles per hour!
  • Anyone use the BAT or another chording keyboard for coding? How is it with (a heavy load of) non-alphanumeric symbols, tabs, deletes? Any alternatives to suggest? ----- Save your flames for someone who cares...
  • Nah you've got Hemos and Katz all wrong.

    When they said intellectual property must be free...

    They meant free as in 'free undred quid

    Apologies to the non UK-English speaking Americans reading this post its meant to be funny ;)
  • Chording may be easy to learn, but it's a prime example of lousy user interface design. There's no way to design a chordable keyboard that can be used with no documentation, which is pretty much required for a device to fly these days. On a normal one key-one letter keyboard, if nothing else, you can stare at the letters printed on top of the keys and hunt and peck your way through a letter. Even if you're used to QWERTY and someone hands you a Dvorak keyboard, you can still use it at a basic level without having to practice and without having to have a book telling you the combinations. Even Palm's Graffiti is still vaguely usable without documentation, because there's a one-for-one correlation between letters appearing on the screen and shapes you draw on the screen ... chording keyboards, however, don't have that. However easy one might be to learn *with* the documentation, it'd take days of trial and error to accomplish anything without it.
  • The products website [alphagrip.com] might dispel some of the design misconceptions that are being had as a result of that one picture. Based on the further info from their page, the design looks actually somewhat useful.

  • Yeah! Dvorak! Down with Qwerty! It's supported by The Man! I'm cool, look at me everybody!

    You make me sick.
  • Even if you know Dvorak, you have to know QWERTY anyways if you are going to use somebody elses machine. Also, research shows typing speeds for experienced Dvorak typists almost approaches the typing speeds of experienced QWERT typists. So it's not like it's an actual improvement. And, while it is said to be marginally easier for beginners to get up to acceptable typing speed on Dvorak keybords compared to a QWERTY, no one in their right mind would hand a beginner a Dvorak keyboard anyway...
  • Considering that this is advertising, it is most likely the current world record. And, considering that 200 words per minute is not unusual on QWERTY keyboards I am not really impressed. Besides, it didn't look something I would carry around with my Palm anyway!
  • Actually, it looks remarkably enough like a heavily modified Atari Jaguar gamepad. Maybe the same idiot who thought that a console gaming system needed a numerical keypad also thought he could make a one-handed typing device.


  • Links are made like this:

    <a href=

    For example:
    Twiddler [handykey.com]

  • The banner ad that popped up when I accessed the site:

    WantViagra?.com Viagra $4.50 per dose

    Insert(ahem) your own one-handed typing joke here...

  • You could write software that detects different notes and converts em into characters, and you could use an midi card .. wonder what it would be like to type with a guitar? :)

    Well, a million monkeys with a million typewriters typing for a million years would eventually produce... Eddie Van Halen solos.

  • This thing looks pretty damn cool, like it came straight out of a 767 or something. I'd like to wrap my own grubby little paws around the thing to test the "erginomicon" factor for myself however.

    Would you like to pet my Penguin? The Linux Pimp [thelinuxpimp.com]

  • Check out the Interfaces keyboard [ergointerfaces.com], as mentioned at Jamie Zawinski [jwz.org]'s site. Like a keyboard split in two, one for each hand.

    I've never used one, but it looks like a more practical solution, even if it's obviously not something that can be used one-handed!
    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra