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Feely keys

Keyboard keys with differently textured tops
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Modern keyboards typically have little bumps on the F and J to help you find them by touch alone (although some wacky systems prefer you to focus on D and K). This is clever, but could be extended as follows.

Imagine if certain commonly-used keys had distinctive textures. Keep hitting caps lock instead of shift? You wouldn't if the shift key had a pattern of bumps, and caps lock was polished smooth. Enter could have wavy ridges to distinguish it from the surrounding keys, which would keep their standard surface. I suggested those keys as likely candidates both because they're frequently used, and because they are far from the current guides F and J.

The idea is that in the time between touching the key and applying sufficient pressure to click the switch underneath, you would be able to tell by feel if you were pressing the right key.

pottedstu, Apr 25 2002

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       How about putting an appropriate braille pattern on each key? Gives you the touch-uniqueness, the alphabet and characters are already established, and the user might eventually learn braille "accidentally." I've always wanted to learn braille, just so I can read in the dark.
quarterbaker, Apr 25 2002
  

       The "Windows" key on newer keyboards should have sharp points that draw blood.
waugsqueke, Apr 25 2002
  

       Wouldn't the blood just feed its dark desires?   

       Nice idea, but of course my Virtual Keyboard could handle it easily (one track mind)
sadie, Apr 25 2002
  

       sadie and waugs have firmly placed the image of a windows key alter, blood running in rivulets from the heart of its latest sacrificial victim..   

       Perhaps the satanic sect to oppose the (now vanished) church of the sock?
yamahito, Jul 08 2002
  

       I'm with Œbaker. Braille would rock.
RayfordSteele, Jul 10 2002
  

       braille. dito.
ironfroggy, Jan 03 2003
  

       Good Idea and good brai- bral- braille (halfbakery needs a spellchecker) annotation.   

       Wonder if keys can be designed so all the 26 (at the very least) keys gave some capslock on/off status feedback, not necessarily physical feely touch (a jolt of electricity for example <--- just kidding) that the human mind could learn to interpret. You don't have to look / feel elsewhere (screen status bar or keyboard leds or feely capslock) to interpret the state.   

       Problem is it would cost an arm and a leg and then some to come up with something that would allow all 26 (or more) keys to be capslock on/off feedback enabled, for the value it would offer.
Porsche911, May 28 2004
  

       Actually, it should cost almost nothing additional, since the keys are injection molded plastic. Just change the mold to have the braille features, and then use the same production steps & materials.   

       This would help people learn to touch-type faster, since they wouldn't have to look down at the keyboard so much, would make us all braille-literate, and would let us more confidently type in the dark.
sophocles, May 28 2004
  

       My typing's chnged ssssssince I instlled the feely keys. I rely like the S key - it's ssssssmooth nd sssssssoft on my keybord. I never touch the letter next to s, it's ssssssshrp.
Worldgineer, May 28 2004
  
      
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