Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Gel Keys

Less painful typing
  (+39, -2)(+39, -2)(+39, -2)
(+39, -2)
  [vote for,

After many hours at the computer typing away at something, the hard keys seem to get irritating. They seem so hard and resistant.

If we made little keys with the top half made of gel, it would be a lot more comfortable. Not to mention that you could poke them with your finger and it would go squish and it's shape would deform.

DesertFox, Feb 04 2005

Rubber keys... http://home.hetnet....clair_spectrum.html
Not gel. [Jinbish, Feb 04 2005]

Sensual Stationary sensual stationery
A bit swiss-cheesed, but good. [Worldgineer, Feb 04 2005]

Flexible Keyboards http://www.clitheroelancs.co.uk/
Flexy [BlownUpGnome, Feb 06 2005]

Lightglove http://www.lightglove.com/
just for [BlownUpGnome] [tiromancer, Feb 06 2005]


       Jelly cube keyboard? (there's an idea) [+]
skinflaps, Feb 04 2005

       ..only don't spill your coffee on it.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Feb 04 2005

       If you could show any evidence that this would reduce the incidence of RSI, you'd be in the money.
wagster, Feb 04 2005

       Only problem would be eww sticky fingers but still [+]...
Darkhatalliance, Feb 04 2005

       I don't think the idea is to have the gel actually exposed to touch, but sort of a miniature of the gel insoles you can buy for your shoes (Are you gellin'?) Each key would have it's own gel capsule topping the surface.
gardnertoo, Feb 04 2005

       + (I would type more, but the keys are hurting me).
salachair, Feb 04 2005

       I think squishy keys would slow me down.
dentworth, Feb 04 2005

       + Bonus - the part plastic/part gel affair would work nicely - The ZX Spectrum and other similar keyboards show us that all-squishy keys are not lovely - but this might be ok. I can imagine the gel coming off on older keyboards though.
zen_tom, Feb 04 2005

       (anyone remember the fuzzy office supplies idea? I miss that)
Worldgineer, Feb 04 2005

       I vaguely remember it, but not really. Do tell.
DesertFox, Feb 04 2005

       Wow, a salachair siting...that's almost like Elvis is here or something! As for the idea, I simply can't continue without a couple more opiates...
blissmiss, Feb 04 2005

       I'd buy it :-) I think it would be very different from the lousy Spectrum squishy keys. As I understand it, the bottom half of the key mechanism would be the same as usual, so you'd still get a positive 'tap' - which I think is what you need. Nice one. (One question - would you have the characters printed on the hard bottom- part of the key and, if so, wouldn't the gel tend to get scuffed and opaque and obscure them?)
Basepair, Feb 05 2005

       Most likely. And I agree about the rubber-key thing. Gel is much better.
DesertFox, Feb 05 2005

       Apple could match their keyboards to their OS by making them out of blue gel and backlighting them.
wagster, Feb 05 2005

       (+) How'bout different colors for the typing impaired?   

       That's workable.
DesertFox, Feb 05 2005

       Wow. That would be awesome.   

Ytutu, Feb 05 2005

       Mmmmm, squishy. [+]
Machiavelli, Feb 06 2005

       There are keyboards made entirely out of rubber...not just the keys, but the whole keyboard. You can actually roll it up and stick it in your pocket. Miserable to type on, though, from what I understand.   

       I have a very heavy typing hand, from having learned to type on a manual typewriter that badly needed cleaning...but my fingers never hurt from typing all day. I do kind of like the squishy-topped key idea, though, as long as they're attached to an otherwise quality keyboard. So, have a croissant, but try not to drop crumbs in the slots.
StarChaser, Feb 06 2005

       You have my vote.
nomadic_wonderer, Feb 06 2005

       Wow, Star is back. Welcome back, StarChaser.
neelandan, Feb 06 2005

       SC and Sc. StarChaser and salachair. Could they be the timid librarian by day, and the tech boy wonder by night, all in one?
blissmiss, Feb 06 2005

       oh don't start dw off! ;)
po, Feb 06 2005

       I always wanted a keyboard that works by breaking a light source.   

       Like your finger breaking intersecting lasers at the location of the key. So when you put your finger on a G, you actually just interrupt intersecting lasers slightly above the key.   

       You dont even need multiple lasers, you could bounce the lasers around and measure distance from the source to figure out what key was presses.   

       And another thing, I put my vote in to get rid of qwerty keyboards for good, they were designed to stop typewriter 'hammers' from colliding and they are not as efficient as other designs for modern applications.   

       There are keyboards out there that are just a floppy bit of rubber with keys that pop in and out.
BlownUpGnome, Feb 06 2005

       A lot of people tell me to try the Dvorak keyboard. But unlearning typing on a QWERTY keyboard since I was 5 would be hard to change. Especially at 31 and able to type at impossibly fast speed.   

       The gel keys could be molded from two colors. One for the bulk and an inset letter so the letters would not be obscured. I'd buy one.   

       I think the gel would deteriorate faster then most people think. My polished smooth keys like my space bar and arrow keys are evidence.   

Giblet, Feb 06 2005

       Maybe the gel would wear slower, because it conforms to the fingertips, and reduces point pressure and maximizes surface contact?
DesertFox, Feb 07 2005

       I think the 'point of terminal wear' would be when your M and N keys are obscured to being unreadable.   

       T nimus 10....
Giblet, Feb 07 2005

       Gel is soft, and hence the wear rate would be higher. Dual-colour gel seems appropriate. The colour used for lettering could be illuminated in low-light conditions.
david_scothern, Feb 07 2005

       What would be even nicer was if the gel was electro-chromatic, and you could change it's color, like you can do for text and stuff.   

       Maybe that would be easier with clear gel and colored LCD's.
DesertFox, Feb 07 2005

       Bliss: I'm afraid not - I'm timid librarian by day, timid librarian by night.   

       The personality remains the same, but the skirts get shorter.   

       I'd be interested to know what StarChaser turns into, though!
salachair, Feb 07 2005

       Possible answers:   

       Werewolf (only full moons)   

       Martha Stewart   

       Wonder Woman   

       CIA agent   

       Famous cat burglar   


       Or a sleeping person.
DesertFox, Feb 08 2005

       As I was typing out an idea tonight, after a hard day of typing at work, a similar idea came to me. I set off to search for it and here I am. Congrats to DesertFox on this idea. My vote made the 28th positive vote on this idea. That is a lot of positive votes on this site I think. The only problem I could see is that the characters, may, wear off the keys easier,if the characters were printed on the key caps. However, the characters could be made of a high durability plasic and be implanted right below the surface of, or flush with the surface of the gel.   

       I would suggest DesertFox try to pitch this idea to Simon Cowell for his American Inventor program on ABC, or to similar idea searches like those at http://tinyurl.com/albvg.   

       I think there may be a very large market/demand for this product that could be produced at a very lost cost with commonly available manfacturing equipment and a well established marketing and distribution system. I want to buy one!
Sunstone, Nov 16 2005

       I'm hard pressed to think of a better way of doing this (+).   

       P.S. [sunstone] maybe add your link to the links section, you'll be more popular that way.
neilp, Nov 16 2005

       What do you call the material quality of a solid substance that doesn't yield under rapid force but does yield under slow forces? Silly Putty is an example of a material with the quality I am thinking about. I don't think the term "thixotropic" is the right one as it pertains to a liquid, no? Silly Putty is a solid that can behave as a liquid. "Elastomer" is a classification name for compounds of the type I am thinking but that term still doesn't apply to the behavior I am thinking about.   

       In any case, perhaps a gel with the quality that "offer[s] ease of movement under low mechanical force and yet exhibits excellent resistance to slump or flow when at rest."
bristolz, Jan 04 2006


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