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Multi-Touch Gorilla Glass Keyboard Given Another Look

By - Source: The Verge | B 33 comments

Kickstarter project shows up at CES 2012 with its stunning prototype.

While the idea of a touch-based keyboard isn't completely new, the Glass Multitouch Keyboard demoed at CES was quite stunning. What started out as a very successful Kickstarter project back in November quickly turned into an awesome prototype unveiled at CES 2012. Although we aren't too sure how many people would prefer a touch-based keyboard over a tactile one, the Glass Multitouch Keyboard looks undeniably awesome.Created by Jason Giddings of Giddings Product Development, the keyboard utilizes frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR) technology to recognize key touches across its Gorilla Glass 2 surface area. Although the demo at CES was a non-working prototype, the product is definitely promising. The keyboard will come with Windows and Mac support, the ability to register multitouch gestures, and both wireless and USB connectivity. Giddings also hopes to integrate speakers to produce haptic feedback like the kind found in many smartphones today.

These photos snapped by the folks over at The Verge show the prototype with a laser etched QWERTY setup, but when the product ships it'll come with a variety of custom layouts. The first batch of production models will be given to the Kickstarter backers who funded $250 or more and is expected sometime in May. After that, the product will start shipping throughout Europe for medical use so it may not be available commercially until later on this year.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    kikireeki , January 19, 2012 9:39 AM
    super cool and prestigious but not so useful.
  • 11 Hide
    republicano , January 19, 2012 11:53 AM
    i couldnt imagine playing skyrim with it, i require my sense in touch so i dont have to look at it while in combat, i find it hard enough typing a essay with a tablet or texting with a cellphone.
    if it was like braille and you could feel the letters and each key had a boarder you can touch then its an improvement,but it does look very nice though,
    soon we can eat with our fingers and use the keys then wipe it down after each meal.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    kikireeki , January 19, 2012 9:39 AM
    super cool and prestigious but not so useful.
  • -5 Hide
    WR2 , January 19, 2012 10:18 AM
    A keyboard that can also function as a touchpad & maybe even a mouse controller?
    Swappable game controller layouts. I want one.
  • -5 Hide
    Tavo_Nova , January 19, 2012 11:30 AM
    this looks awesome i would love to get my self a couple of these for my rig
  • 11 Hide
    republicano , January 19, 2012 11:53 AM
    i couldnt imagine playing skyrim with it, i require my sense in touch so i dont have to look at it while in combat, i find it hard enough typing a essay with a tablet or texting with a cellphone.
    if it was like braille and you could feel the letters and each key had a boarder you can touch then its an improvement,but it does look very nice though,
    soon we can eat with our fingers and use the keys then wipe it down after each meal.
  • 3 Hide
    gokanis , January 19, 2012 12:47 PM
    It looks cool to play with, But I can't see typing on it for long periods of time.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , January 19, 2012 1:48 PM
    how are you going to rest your fingers on asdf and jkl; without it registering on the touch senstitive glass laser etched keys? very questionable...
  • 2 Hide
    wiyosaya , January 19, 2012 2:42 PM
    gokanisIt looks cool to play with, But I can't see typing on it for long periods of time.

    I have to agree. Typing for long periods of time will take a completely different style since the keys do not move. My bet is that people will complain that it is hard on the hands, and may even cause more instances of carpal tunnel, or other stress related injuries. I have worked with some people who literally pound their keyboards. While the glass would likely not break, that style of typing, IMHO, on this keyboard would likely cause injuries.
  • 1 Hide
    robochump , January 19, 2012 3:19 PM
    If only this KB had clear glass tactile keys it would be awesome. Flat KBs will never take off.
  • 0 Hide
    patpatpat , January 19, 2012 4:27 PM
    Add backlit led to the "keys" and have them glow brighter or change color when you hit them. Maybe an optional scratchpad on the side?!
  • 0 Hide
    beardguy , January 19, 2012 6:33 PM
    Looks dope.

    I hate the way traditional keyboards get dirty and are very hard to clean. By the looks of this, you could just spray it down and wipe off the flat surface to clean it. As long as it is super-responsive, I could see gaming on this as well.
  • 0 Hide
    beardguy , January 19, 2012 6:53 PM
    wiyosayaI have to agree. Typing for long periods of time will take a completely different style since the keys do not move. My bet is that people will complain that it is hard on the hands, and may even cause more instances of carpal tunnel, or other stress related injuries. I have worked with some people who literally pound their keyboards. While the glass would likely not break, that style of typing, IMHO, on this keyboard would likely cause injuries.


    Why would having to press less cause more injuries? I agree, people (like the cavemen that smash the keys) will have to relearn to type. But you aren't going to be pressing super hard once you realize you don't need to. Instead of having to press a key all the way down and let the key pop back up again, you just basically tap your finger lightly on a key.





  • 0 Hide
    freggo , January 19, 2012 7:38 PM
    kikireekisuper cool and prestigious but not so useful.


    Yep, this keyboard has iBoard written all over it :-)
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , January 19, 2012 8:50 PM
    beardguyWhy would having to press less cause more injuries? ~ But you aren't going to be pressing super hard once you realize you don't need to. Instead of having to press a key all the way down and let the key pop back up again, you just basically tap your finger lightly on a key.

    The same reason the glass-keyboard notebook (which looks nice) still sucks as a keyboard.

    A REAL keyboard (more so on the desktop than a notebook), the keys moving gives you a tactile response (going down/slight click noise) - you can't inexactly rest your fingers on a touch screed device (which is what this is, minus the screen).
    - Even if you COULD rest your fingers on the keys, you'd have to use muscles/time/energy to lift your finger and press down... most likely.

    - You cannot touch type... no surface = no touching... so you'll be looking at the keyboard more than the screen. (Most of what I type here, I'm not looking at on the keyboard)

    - Real Keys are LIKE shock-absorbers. You know, like on a car, or even your shoes. With a flat surface, your fingertips are constantly hitting a solid surface.

    YOU can simulate this yourself. Pretend to type on your table for 15-20 minutes straight. If you want, draw a keyboard on a piece of paper and use that. Get back to us on how you fingers feel. This was also the response with the light-projected keyboard (your table surface IS the keyboard)... draw backs: doesn't work well in bright rooms... pain in the finger tips, no tactile response.

    On a REAL keyboard, you typically only need to press about halfway down for the press to register, the remaining distance is cushion. Most keyboards have a rubber pad under all the keys.

    Again, you can simulate this by typing on YOUR keyboard, then move your hand to the table and type some more... or even the bare plastic areas of your keyboard.

    This gorilla glass keyboard looks nice... but its useless as a keyboard. There are already other flat-cleanable keyboards for the medical industry.
  • 0 Hide
    c4v3man , January 19, 2012 9:34 PM
    I hope they make it edge-lit with a few RGB LED's, that could be mixed to give you whatever color you wanted... seems like it's just begging for it.
  • -3 Hide
    f-14 , January 20, 2012 12:00 AM
    sweet i want one, if they can make it so it doesn't fry when you spill a drink on it, this will probably show up in alot of offices, if it can read a fingernail tap women are going to love this. office cleaners will love this and i bet it would reduce some of the flu season spread.
    the impact argument is for sissies. if your hands are so delicate you can't adapt to finger tip to finger flats then you have no business being in computers. i have huge hands but i am also not built like a 3 year old and have had enough never dulling due to frostbite and smashed my fingers with a hammer enough that i don't complain about lap tops weight because my 18v dewalt impact drill all day has conditioned me into assigning you names of girly man and such and creating sub catagories or said levels of whiny girly man-nes.
    flagging me for this kind of candor will only affirm how dead on right i am in your wearing a dress and how long your skirt is. i saw it to the face of my IT friends all the time when i hear them quip about doing any real work involving manual labor because i do it all and they are supposedly smarter then me.
    anybody who whines about keystrokes whines about how heavy and hard it is to use a fork & spoon & knife and still has to be breast fed from what i have seen ( that's not a bad thing i wish i could still get away with it if my wife would let me {trust me it's not going to be my mom but if your mom is hot, i might be able to work something out})

    some of us more musically inclined have been drumming our fingers on desks for hours at a time since 2nd grade even if it was just to drive sensitive whiners nuts.

    belardoThe same reason the glass-keyboard notebook (which looks nice) still sucks as a keyboard.A REAL keyboard (more so on the desktop than a notebook), the keys moving gives you a tactile response (going down/slight click noise) - you can't inexactly rest your fingers on a touch screed device (which is what this is, minus the screen). - Even if you COULD rest your fingers on the keys, you'd have to use muscles/time/energy to lift your finger and press down... most likely.- You cannot touch type... no surface = no touching... so you'll be looking at the keyboard more than the screen. (Most of what I type here, I'm not looking at on the keyboard) - Real Keys are LIKE shock-absorbers. You know, like on a car, or even your shoes. With a flat surface, your fingertips are constantly hitting a solid surface.YOU can simulate this yourself. Pretend to type on your table for 15-20 minutes straight. If you want, draw a keyboard on a piece of paper and use that. Get back to us on how you fingers feel. This was also the response with the light-projected keyboard (your table surface IS the keyboard)... draw backs: doesn't work well in bright rooms... pain in the finger tips, no tactile response.On a REAL keyboard, you typically only need to press about halfway down for the press to register, the remaining distance is cushion. Most keyboards have a rubber pad under all the keys.Again, you can simulate this by typing on YOUR keyboard, then move your hand to the table and type some more... or even the bare plastic areas of your keyboard.This gorilla glass keyboard looks nice... but its useless as a keyboard. There are already other flat-cleanable keyboards for the medical industry.

  • 0 Hide
    okibrian , January 20, 2012 12:26 AM
    @kensingtron
    For tactile user feedback they should add a small vibration to the keyboard. Another issue is it really does look cool, but think about after you start to use it (finger prints).
  • 0 Hide
    darkavenger123 , January 20, 2012 1:50 AM
    Looks cool. But i am not going to use one. Just curious, will it breaks if i drop from waist length??? Is the Gorilla tough enough? :p 
  • 1 Hide
    Supertrek32 , January 20, 2012 1:53 AM
    Looks awesome, but wouldn't function.

    A few ways to make it better:
    1) Detect how much pressure is being applied, so only keys with fingers squished against them would activate, so you could actually put your hands on the keyboard.

    2) Slightly raise the glass to form rectangles around the "keys" so you can feel where you're putting your fingers.

    3) Shoot some IR up at active keys, making your finger feel slightly warm when a key is activated (thermal response?)
  • 0 Hide
    richboyliang , January 20, 2012 5:19 AM
    i've never liked touchscreen keyboards
  • 0 Hide
    yanjustin98 , January 20, 2012 12:22 PM
    Looks like something I would hang on my wall for decoration. I guess it would be okay for those Apple users that want to add some new flair to their already flaired up device.. but for the average PC user and definitely gamer, I don't see this having a positive impact in the market as far as their shares go. Rather stick to getting a Logitech or other keyboard unlike this one.
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