Keyboardio floats like a butterfly, stings with your thumbs

— 9:16 AM on September 11, 2014

We do an awful lot of typing here at TR, so I couldn't resist writing about an intriguing new keyboard design from start-up Keyboardio. The company is putting the finishing touches on a butterfly-shaped board that's supposed to let one's hands rest in a more natural position. The organization of the alphanumeric keys is largely similar to that of traditional keyboards, but the rest of the keys have been rearranged to shift the load from weaker pinkie fingers to stronger thumbs.

Those orphaned buttons at the bottom are function modifiers designed to be hit with one's palms. The arced rows next to them put the shift, ctrl, alt, and delete keys within thumb's reach.

According to Endgadget, which saw the keyboad at TechCrunch Disrupt, the developers are currently experimenting with using the function keys to toggle mouse movement with the WASD triangle. Other keyboard shortcuts are being used to send the mouse pointer to specific regions of the screen. The keyboard is designed to be fully programmable, and it will come with source code, so users should be able to modify the behavior to suit their needs.

Mechanical key switches are on the menu, but we don't know which ones. The developers claim the keyboard will be "quiet enough to use in a meeting," though—that rules out clicky Cherry MX blue switches. Bluetooth will provide connectivity for a range of different devices, and the whole thing will be wrapped in an aluminum body.

There's no word on how much the Keyboardio might cost. However, posts on the official website suggests a crowd-funding campaign will be used to kick off production soon. You can sign up to be notified of further developments right here.

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