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Any viable alternatives to touchstream?

PostPosted: 17 Aug 2005, 21:21
by rolfwind
Before I made my other post today, I wasn't aware that the company has been bought out.

I could and will look on ebay, but with only two on today - I don't think the chances of finding a dvorak covered one is good.

I might just buy an iGesture - there are still some around.......

Anybody know of good alternatives? I spent the last three weeks studying this and it seemed datahand had the only true but distant runner up. Nothing to get excited over......

PostPosted: 18 Aug 2005, 12:15
by TorbenGB
Viable? Yes and no.

Yes, if you suffer from RSI then anything is better than a mechanical keyboard so there would be a number of alternatives out there. But don't start comparing to a TS because it's not relevant anymore ... unless you can afford $600+ on eBay.

No, if you don't suffer from RSI and just (like me) grabbed this for the novel and excellent user interface. There's no doubt that the TS was truly ingenious, and I'm not aware of anything like it.

PostPosted: 18 Aug 2005, 15:22
by Rqyteqto
Couldn't say it any better than that.

For RSI or other disabilities, while they are good, there may well be even better alternatives depending on what you suffer from.

As an incredible input device, there's nothing that comes even close. Fact is, I doubt anybody really knows the full extent of what these boards are capable.

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2005, 02:12
by rolfwind
No, I don't suffer RSI.... yet. Why wait until you do? The money on a keyboard will seem cheap compared to that.

A few of my colleagues had started to develop RSI and they tried everything under the sun with the prices to match but I hear from several of them the best solution they tried was working out with thinking putty while they were compiling code or other waiting periods at their keyboard. It works and it's cheap ($8).

Anyway, bought 2 iGestures. I hope I can convert them through editting into a working keyboard - but it doesn't matter. I'm working on a notebook without pg_up/pg_down, home, end and other keys - I could use the iGestures just as they are for my computers - money well spent if they work half as well as advertised.

If any company bought Fingerworks out - I hope it's apple. That at least guarantees it will filter down to their computers. If HP bought it for that 10K system - we might not see another consumer-level system until the patents run down.

Datahands is an interesting system - but one I consider overpriced and antiquated. They are resting on their laurels since it came out in 1995. Plus I heard they were less than reliable - keys breaking off and stuff - that's why they have so many refurbished ones. Plus the mouse is a PITA according to some people - basically that kills some value of the system and makes it into just another key layout in some aspects.

The other day I found an interesting device that's familiar but unlike anything else out there: ... s/ErgoDex/

Check it out for the novelty if nothing else.

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2005, 07:27
by Rqyteqto
rolfwind - I am working on the same concept, using two iGestures as a semi-replacement for a TS, given the cost and competition for the TS's on EBay is so high and fierce.

So I'd be very interested in any efforts you make in this direction. Perhaps we can colaborate. I'll PM you with my email address.

I had very bad RSI at one time, back 17 to 18 years ago, for a bit over a year. For over three months I couldn't pick up even a pencil with either hand (a real problem when you do architecture for a living). I wore braces 24 hours a day for 6 months and did extensive physical therapy. I am never going back there and FingerWorks products are one way I intend to avoid it. I've also found the gesture/mousing on the TS is just very intuitive for me. I started with a puck and graphics tablet for my first 5 years, translated to touchpads on notebooks for the next 10 and now have been working with the TS for the last year. As I've said here and elsewhere, as relief for RSI and other ergonomic issues, its great, as an incredible input device, its incomparable.