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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Microsoft’s Pressure-Sensitive Keyboard changes the way you type

When I first saw that Mircosoft was endorsing a pressure sensitive keyboard, I couldn't help but wonder why I would even need a pressure sensitive keyboard.

But leave it to Microsoft to show me that I practically can't live without it. And this video after the jump shows exactly why I would need a keyboard that can detect 256 levels of sensitivity.

First of all, it would help on instant messaging. So if I wanted to say "I LOVE you", no switching to boldface before or after is required. Any word or words that I want emphasized could be done so in realtime by simply banging on the keys harder.

Second, a pressure sensitive keyboard would allow me to detect errors in a word processing document. Most typos occur as the typist is working without even thinking, so keys that aren't meant to be typed will show up as "less pressured" font. I suppose the user could sync all the fonts when he or she has completely edited the document.

The third case can also be used for editing. Imagine if you could hit your Backspace key a little harder, then the last word would be eliminated instead of the the last character. That would speed things up a bit, wouldn't it?

There are also plans to involve pressure-sensitive typing in the gaming world too. Just press harder to make the player run, and lighter to make player walk.

Perhaps you are sold on the pressure-sensitive keyboard now. Right now, this keyboard is part of a contest sponsored by SIGGRAPH, but it is gaining a lot of buzz from gadget blogs everywhere. I would imagine you will probably see this one get manufactured, and become a new keyboard standard.

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