Next step towards an effective keyboard - :idea: collector

Comments specifically about the keyboard devices.

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Next step towards an effective keyboard - :idea: collector

Postby ivanw » 04 Aug 2005, 11:07

Intro:

It seems likely that we won't get any information from the team in charge of taking over the future of the Fingerworks technology :wink:

This means that this forum is a one-way data flow. So be it! In this case, the best we can do, aside of pointless speculation as to who/what/why the :twisted: did/did :!: this/that/whatever... , is to be part of the process through :P *positive* feeds for those hiding in the shadow :oops:

We all can benefit from reporting the experience each of us is having with the technology at this early stage. We spend so many hours at it that it has to be worth something to tell what we have on our mind to those who are working for us right now. Even if they keep hiding, they wont ignore this forum :)
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Dynamic feedback

Postby ivanw » 04 Aug 2005, 11:41

How to feedback :?:
After getting used to type on a TouchSrean keyboard, it feels quite insane having to cope with the height of mechanical keyboard keys. It makes your fingers spring so much higher than on the TS! So why everybody here perform faster with these antics?

The major problem with the TouchSrean keyboard is hand drifting caused by the lack of ANY physical feedback.
On a mechanical keyboard, your fingertips collect the necessary information with each keystroke. The TS should provide something in this area.
The solution cannot be through any additional static dimples like those already there on the home-row. They would just defeat the purpose through confusion.
I will shed a clue as to how it might be realized: It should be dynamic...
Why so? Well, I came up to this idea by analyzing the constraints:
  1. A slick surface must be there for MOUSING and GESTURING.
  2. The fingertips physical sensing must be triggered WHEN TYPING.
  3. Fingertips are SO sensible that very faint positioning clues would suffice.
After a very shallow thinking, I see tiny embedded moving dimples that could do the trick. They would bounce in the center their key when triggered. What do you think?

Hey dr_leviathan, could you think about how to do this on your way home :wink:
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Postby Shawn_Milo » 04 Aug 2005, 15:19

If I could change one thing about the TouchStream, it would be the zero tactile feedback, so I agree in part.

However, I don't believe that moving parts are the answer. That defeats some of the purpose, adds more room for failure, and will make gestures more cumbersome.

What I think it needs is an infinitesimally raised border around each key. One which would not prevent the easy slide of the fingers during gestures, but which would prevent the drifting off of the home keys during touch-typing.
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Wrist Control

Postby firefox » 04 Aug 2005, 16:06

Another possible idea would be to have wrist control.
If the two halves were more seperated, and each attached directly to a wrist, could be as simple as a U shaped padded grip the wrist sits on. If the keyboard is always in the same orientation to the wrist, I would think that it would be easier to return to a specific place on the keyboard.
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Postby ivanw » 04 Aug 2005, 17:51

Shawn_Milo wrote:What I think it needs is an infinitesimally raised border around each key. One which would not prevent the easy slide of the fingers during gestures, but which would prevent the drifting off of the home keys during touch-typing.
This makes sense too. Your infinitesimally raised border mention cares about what has been said on alteration of the surface. This idea makes a good complement to what Syzygies said about dimples in this interesting FWSF thread: [url]http://forums.fingerworks.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=363][/url]
I am no sure whether one would feel anything when typing rather quickly. I even do not notice the existing dimples of the home-row keys.

But I agree with what you said about moving parts. I thought about something that moves with no mechanical parts :wink: (piezo, nano, we are talking about the future here!)

At least feedback should be just as good as what we get from the dust-collecter version.
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Postby Rqyteqto » 04 Aug 2005, 18:34

While I agree some better tactile feedback would be nice, I fear its an issue that's going to require major compromises. I think the idea for more distance between the boards and perhaps better registration of the boards to the operator's wrists is good.

This brings up my suggestions. First, I would prefer more space between the boards, at least the option. Plus the ribbon cable currently used is really ridiculous, ribbon cables in friction connections were never intended for and should never be used for a mechanical connection. This is a major source of damage and failures and likely the single largest maintenance problem. i would suggest a physical joint with any data connection not subject to stress and well protected with a locking plug and socket setup. Best of all would be to make that data connection wireless.

Next up is the USB cable, again, this is a major source of failures and maintenance/repair. Again, the answer is wireless. But in the interest of simplicity, robustness, I'd suggest at least having a plug and locking socket for this as well. Plus a lot longer cord. But wireless would be infinitely better.

Neither of these suggestions would cost much or require much in the way of engineering or modification of the existing parts.
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Postby Max » 05 Aug 2005, 08:12

Rqyteqto wrote:This brings up my suggestions. First, I would prefer more space between the boards, at least the option. Plus the ribbon cable currently used is really ridiculous, ribbon cables in friction connections were never intended for and should never be used for a mechanical connection. This is a major source of damage and failures and likely the single largest maintenance problem. i would suggest a physical joint with any data connection not subject to stress and well protected with a locking plug and socket setup. Best of all would be to make that data connection wireless.


Out of interest, my Touchstream failed because of flexing of the ribbon cable (see elsewhere in the forum). With nothing to lose I removed the cable and bought a replacement. Although I replaced it with a cable of the same length, I did notice (and purchased) some other, longer cables. I haven't tried them but they should work. Of course this may mean the keyboard no longer sits on the frame correctly.

Not that I am recommending anyone pulls their Touchstream apart that is ....

What I would like is a replacement very thin top cover for my backup keyboard to turn it from QWERTZ into DVORAK. The difficulty is getting the surface friction right and the ensuring that a cover is as thin as possible so that the touch sensing technology still works ok. I have tried materials such as paper and acetate but these are no good.
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