Das Keyboard Launches Kickstarter Campaign For '5Q' Cloud-Connected Mechanical Keyboard

Das Keyboard launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a cloud-connected mechanical keyboard called the Das Keyboard 5Q.

The 5Q is an open API RGB mechanical keyboard that will take advantage of cloud connectivity, allowing the lighting to be controlled over the internet. Each LED can be color-controlled remotely, allowing the keyboard to act as an output device and visually represent a specific piece of information.

Some useful real life examples of what the 5Q is capable of include graphing CPU usage or temperature, glowing red or green depending on how stocks are doing, displaying the build status of software depending on if it passes or fails, or even notifying you when important emails hit your inbox. The possibilities are essentially endless.

The 5Q also features a desktop RESET API that lets Javascript developers program the keyboard. Das is already preparing a community website where developers can share their open source widgets and creations.

The familiar volume knob now acts as the “Q Button,” and when pressed, it will tell your desktop to display what information your keyboard is currently showingvia the lighting--a handy feature in the event that you forget what you currently have the keyboard set to stream.

The 5Q will also be fully mechanical, using Japanese-manufactured Omron switches. The switches are light and tactile, comparable to Cherry MX Brown switches. Due to the Omron switches’ design, the center of the switch is open and utilizes an LED pipe that guides the light from the surface-mount LEDs straight through the switch, resulting in extremely bright and consistent backlighting.

At press time, $42,000 out of the $100,000 goal has already been pledged, with 29 days left to go.

Features include:IOT/ cloud-connected keyboard with Omron RGB mechanical switchesQ Button: activates the Das Keyboard Q software when pressed, or acts as a volume knob when turned. Das Keyboard Q firmware connected to Q cloud servers via your computer network stack.A desktop RESET API to control the keyboard light settingsN Key Rollover100% anti-ghostingCentered SMT RGB LEDs3 light pipes: one on either side and one around the Q ButtonFull-size ISO and ANSI layouts availableFulltime NKRO via USB Detachable palm-restCompatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Software includes user-upgradable firmware over the internet with the Q app, a desktop RESET API, the Q desktop application, and the Q cloud software. It's compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, too.

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Andy Cook is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews, specializing in mechanical keyboards.
  • Blinken
    a cloud connected keyboard, just what ever keylogger loves.
  • problematiq
    as an Info-Sec guy this was one of my first thoughts. Welcome to the internet of Feces. (IoT/IoS)
  • captaincharisma
    this proves they will let anyone start a kickstarter campaign. what was the guy who thought this was a good idea on?
  • therealduckofdeath
    That's the point with Kickstarter, isn't it captaincharisma? Let the nuttiest ideas get a chance. Though, I'm with what seems to be the general consensus on this one, that it seems like a really bad idea to have a cloud connected keyboard hardware layer. :)
  • surphninja
    Is there any talk of how all of that traffic is going to be encrypted? What kind of data will be collected and stored? Why does that kind of data need to go through their servers anyway, when it could just go through the lan?
  • anonymousdude
    Are those Romer g switches that Omron and Logitech developed? I would have thought that there would have been some kind of exclusivity contract between them.
  • sadsteve
    Besides the issues stated in the previous posts, you shouldn't be looking at your keyboard while typing, you should be looking at your display. When I'm programing, emailing or making comments on a tech website, I don't really see my keyboard. Any visual display activities (pulsing LEDs, color changes, etc) from the keyboard would be distracting my focus from the task at hand.
  • KaiserPhantasma
    This should get "interesting" if they see practical applications for this
  • Omegaclawe
    Shirley you can't be sirius.
  • nukemaster
    18206078 said:
    Shirley you can't be sirius.
    Do not call me Shirley!