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News First analogue keyboard hits Kickstarter

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 25 May 2016.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    My old idea was a keyboard where you'd hit a key slightly harder as a replacement for shift. Maybe this would let me see how poorly conceived a plan that was.
     
  3. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I'm surprised it has taken this long to design a keyboard like this. I guess the problem is keyboards like this might be impractical for typing, and they're probably expensive to make. It wouldn't surprise me if they lose accuracy after a while too.

    Seems to me there should be some keys that aren't analogue though, such as the F# keys.
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    If you read the pitch, they're claiming it is no different to typing on any other mechanical keyboard: the switches feel identical to their Cherry MX equivalents.
     
  5. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    Such claims don't mean much when you've got the first of something that is pretty crucial to the functionality of a PC.

    Some people can type faster on phone keypads than other people on a full-size keyboard. That doesn't make phone keypads a decent alternative.

    There's a reason this hasn't been done before, and expense/profit can't be the only one.
     
  6. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I have no idea what you're saying here. They're not claiming it's a "decent alternative," they're claiming that the switches are identical. As in, if I were to blindfold you and have you touch-type a sentence on the analogue keyboard and a mechanical keyboard, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
     
  7. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    Right, that's in tactile feel, not functionality. And sure, at first maybe they do/can behave just like a Cherry MX. I have no doubt they can feel the same. But as I said before, the accuracy may drop over time. I don't know what kind of actuator the switches use, but if it's literally an analog switch, that probably involves some sort of variable resistor (which more often than not means physical wear).
     
  8. David

    David RIP Tel

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    It's almost worth backing for the ease of changing switches alone.
     
  9. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's not a variable resistor; it measures the travel of the key by refracting light through a clear (Cherry MX-compatible) stem. The Kickstarter page has full details - including that the switches are tested to 100 million actuations. For comparison, Cherry MX switches are tested to 50 million.
     
  10. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

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    It sounds like a brilliant idea, but I'm wondering how much control you'd actually get with such a small travel distance (surely the average keyboard key only travels a couple of mm?)
     
  11. Pete J

    Pete J RIP Teelzebub

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    I think you may be surprised how accurate a human can get with a little training!

    I personally would love to have these on my Logitech G13. It'd give me analogue control over my strafing for Star Citizen! Would also be handy for variable zoom in some games.
     
  12. Wwhat

    Wwhat Member

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    I remember when Microsoft research announced that they developed a keyboard like this a few years back, and said it was cheap to produce and easy to manufacture, and it looked like a nice thing to have available, and then.. nothing.
    So I wonder if this is made under MS licence, or if not if MS will sue like little jealous babies.
     
  13. SinxarKnights

    SinxarKnights Member

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  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I missed this comment first time around, so a belated response: the face buttons on the original Xbox controller were analogue and the functionality worked great in games despite mere millimetres of travel distance. This is why, incidentally, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball never made it to Xbox Backwards Compatibility; the analogue face buttons were ditched for the Xbox 360.

    Sony's DualShock design had analogue face buttons right through to the PS3, too, though again it was ditched for the PS4.
    Always nice when a crowdfunding campaign doesn't just drop off the radar (looking at you, The Elite Archives, where's my book!?), though looking at the backer comments nobody seems to have received one quite yet.
     
  15. davido_labido

    davido_labido Your Alphacool Contact.

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    I know someone who has had one for a while, so they should be going out soon. Not managed to play on his yet, but he hypes it a lot.
     
  16. Wakka

    Wakka Yo, eat this, ya?

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    So I can finally play racing sims on a keyboard?!!
     
  17. SinxarKnights

    SinxarKnights Member

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    Corky42 likes this.

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