I then sent the info onto some of our customers:
Subject: Cleanroom equipment
From: "James T. Savidge" <jsavidge>
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 11:17:15 -0600
To: [...semiconductor people’s addresses where here...]
Over the past couple of months I have been using an input device that might have some advantages over standard mice and keyboards in a clean room environment. It is called the iGesture NumPad from Fingerworks:
In the past, one of my duties around here has been researching new technology. I first found out about this company a year and a half ago. When they finally came out with their products this fall I decided to get one. Based on my testing of the pad, it will work through leather gloves, so it should also work through a clean room suit or latex gloves. As for their keyboards, they work like a mouse and a keyboard but there are no moving parts. In a clean room, this might help reduce the number of particulates and remove the need for "mouse movement" real estate, or the need for a track pad.
I've been able to talk with one of the executives of the company and he tells me that the plastics that their products are made of are similar to the one used for standard keyboards. Consequently, out gassing should be comparable. [Someone here suggested that if that is really a worry, you could encase these things in glass.]
If you had any interest in customizing the layout of the keyboards, Frank Lytle, (the FingerWorks executive I mentioned above), has sent me pricing and quantity information. I'd be happy to forward that info to you.
If y'all are interested in trying out my NumPad, Gregg can bring it with him when he comes up in a few weeks.
James T. Savidge, [jsavidge@....com], Tuesday, March 04, 2003
Unfortunately, for various reasons, (not including the purchase of Fingerworks’ tech by Apple,) this possible use of their keyboards never happened.
I’ll admit that I am curious to know if my “through the LCD” demo had anything to do with the eventual design of the iPhone multi-touch screen.
And no, I’m not trying to say I deserve any money for the idea, even if I was actually the first to come up with it. Someone at Fingerworks may have already thought of this but Mr. Lytle wasn’t allowed to tell me abut it.
However, if I did come up with the idea first, I wouldn’t mind some verbal or written credit.
Anyway, a little more of the history of the saga of Fingerworks.
James T. Savidge, Monday, January 15, 2007