RSI and TouchStream

Comments specifically about ergonomics of the FW products (vs. others).

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RSI and TouchStream

Postby sheats » 20 Apr 2008, 23:32

Hey there,

I'm planning on purchasing a TouchStream keyboard from Ebay and was wondering how much I could really expect it to help my RSI symptoms. I have heard several people claim that their RSI symptoms cleared up as a result of using one of these keyboards, but I guess I was just wondering how serious their problems were in the first place.

I'd be interested in hearing any of you guys' stories and how the keyboard helped...

Thanks!
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Re: RSI and TouchStream

Postby TorbenGB » 11 Feb 2011, 14:48

Did nobody ever answer this good question? For the sake of posterity (and Google searches), I will do so now:

The TouchStream keyboard was specifically made with RSI victims in mind. The typical problem with RSI is that the effort of pressing the keys down, though small, is enough to cause pain. So by having a completely zero-force keyboard, this pain is eliminated. If you must type (a lot), then the TouchStream is one of the best solutions.

Also, the multi-touch surface brings some fantastic benefits. You have everything right at your fingertips. You never need to reach for the mouse again, because it's right where your fingers are. And you get to use a wide range of suprisingly intuitive gestures for simple actions like copy/paste, home/end, open/save/close, and so on. This is amazing.

There are drawbacks, however, because It's a completely new way to type. Most of these drawbacks can be overcome with simple patience and practice but you need to be aware of them in order to minimize their effect.
  • Beginning to use zero-force keyboards often requires a frustrating period of retraining because it can feel very odd to type without any physical feedback. Solution: Deliberately choose to begin at a time when you're not stressed for time and typing productivity. Consider switching between a TouchStream and a regular keyboard at intervals in order to gradually get used to the new way of typing. Avoid overdoing it.
  • Zero-force typing requires different muscles - you need zero force to push down on the keys, but all of a sudden you need a little force to lift your fingers instead. This also takes some getting used to.
  • Multi-touch devices not only make typing easier, but they also introduce the ability to understand gestures. You will need to practise these and slowly get used to these "mouse-like" movements as well. Don't overdo it at first.
  • Because the surface is completely flat (except for small dimples), there are no obvious key edges to guide your fingers. Your fingers may drift away from "home row" and cause you to type nonsense. This too only requires patient practise as you learn to move your hands less and let your fingers rest and find the "home row dimples" every once in a while. After a while this becomes automatic, but until then the finger drift may be frustrating.
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Re: RSI and TouchStream

Postby David.P » 11 Feb 2015, 18:13

My RSI symptoms went away after switching to the fabulous iGesture Pad from a normal computer mouse.

Note that however I almost don't do any typing anymore, and have not done so for about a decade, thanks to NaturallySpeaking.

Cheers David.P
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