Page 1 of 1

New Macintouch/Digitouch case.

Posted: 20 Jul 2011, 04:30
by camkego
Hello fellow Fingerworks fans, I'm hoping some of you will jump in and help me and design a better case for the Macintouch/Digitouch keyboard once produced by Fingerworks.

I have the remaining stock once held by a court reporter keyboard company.
(I don't have a large number of units, but I think just almost enough to justify having a better case made)

I hope to make a smaller case, with a flush front surface.

The keyboards are approximately 5x216x143mm HxWxD, and I want your input on how deep you think the area below should be where our palms may or may not rest.

Do you think the new case should have a palm rest surface approximately as deep as the Touchstream keyboards?
(approx 105mm distance between lower edge of keyboard and lower side of case.)

Or, do you think the new case should not have a palm rest at all, and should just wrap the keyboard electronics?
(5-20mm distance between lower edge of keyboard and lower side of case.)
(The new case will probably have a minimum depth of 10mm, so picture a 10mm wall between your resting palms and the keyboard surface)

Your feedback is appreciated. I would like to lower the cost of these units for sale on Ebay, but it's going to depend on my costs of building a new case.

If you are CNC designer and can help design, or help guide me to produce this new case, it would be great.
Referrals to designers/experienced CNC type people are appreciated too.

There is a budget to get the new case designed, and I can also pay in keyboards, too.

Thank you

Re: New Macintouch/Digitouch case.

Posted: 20 Jul 2011, 06:20
by TorbenGB
Welcome Cameron!
Your message is very intriguing; I'm sad to hear that Stenovations apparently didn't succeed with their Digitouch. If you are allowed to, please do post some more information on that here in the "News about FingerWorks" section, I'm sure many users are curious.

As for your plan to re-case the MacNTouch units, I think that's an absolutely great idea. When I reviewed the Digitouch back in 2007, the case design was, I think, the only thing not getting best marks from me. Here's what I'd like to see in a new case, in case (hah!) you are going to redesign it:

- Much flatter.
The TouchStream LP can lie flat on the desk and is no more than 6mm thick. That's even less than the nice new Mac keyboards. Something like this form factor would be awesome.

- No palm rest.
I'm not sure what Stenovations' reasons were to make their case that size, but I don't see any need for the areas in front of, and behind, the keyboard surface. Obviously there must be a little something left to put the cable and USB plug (see photos in the review) but it can be smaller than it is.
update: on second thought the case might not be made flat enough to skip the palm rest; in that case, a sloping palm rest would be best, so that the front edge is as low as possible while still allowing enough height at the end of the palm rest, where the keyboard is.

- Less bezel around the keyboard surface.
This might be tricky to do with precision, and I'm sure Stenovations worked on that too. But in the current case, the thickness of the plastic just around the edges of the keyboard surface makes it a little difficult to hit certain keys, especially the "Clear" key at the top. If the plastic can be made thinner around these edges, and possibly cover even less of its surface, I think typing near the edge will improve.

- Non-flat underside.
The only thing I ever actually changed on the Digitouch was to put a big rubber sticker on the bottom. At least in my unit, the foam bottom didn't prevent it from sliding on the desk. If you have a TouchStream LP, you'll know that the keyboard stand has a rubber stub in each corner -- that's much better.

- Upgrade for existing users.
If you go ahead and create a new case for the units you have in stock, please consider to also offer "upgrade kits" for existing users. As you can see from the above points, there is a little room for improvement and I'd think that at least some users might be interested! Depending on the price ofcourse, I'd be interested too.

- Wireless.
The USB cable is something many users here have talked about, not specifically about the Digitouch but about any FingerWorks device. If you can somehow combine it with RF or Bluetooth and find room for batteries, that would truly rock. But I'm putting this idea last because it's absolutely unlikely, and not really what you were asking about either.

Best regards!

Re: New Macintouch/Digitouch case.

Posted: 09 Aug 2011, 03:06
by drew
This is a fun project. I had thought of making my own case a while back but I I never did any thing else with it.
Torben has many good points I am hard pressed to come up with other changes.
I like having a wrist rest but I suppose if the case is thin enough it would not be needed.

If the usb plug in the keyboard could be a mini usb it would help make the case smaller. I will look around to see if this is a possibility.

I would be willing to help out with the design. Let me know if you are still looking for assistance.


Re: New Macintouch/Digitouch case.

Posted: 29 Sep 2011, 01:07
by drew

So what happened? must of been CND

Re: New Macintouch/Digitouch case.

Posted: 29 Sep 2011, 08:22
by TorbenGB
Drew, you could try sending Cameron a PM or an email message through the forum. Perhaps he just forgot that he posted here?