Wireless keyboard’s numpad supports Win8 touch gestures

Windows 8’s gesture support will be lost on most desktop users, especially if their systems lack touchscreens. However, Japanese firm Elecon has developed a wireless keyboard whose numpad doubles as as a touchpad. With the flick of a switch, the touch-sensitive numpad turns into a gesture-aware tracking area.

The official product page is in Japanese, but the list of supported gestures needs no translation. There are 13 gestures in total, including pinch zooming, two-finger tapping, and swiping with up to three fingers. As far as I can tell, the gestures mimic what’s available in touchpad-equipped Windows 8 notebooks.

Like the keyboards on those notebooks, Elecom’s design uses an array of chiclet-style keys. Also like notebooks, the paging block has been dropped in favor of a more compact layout. The 19-mm key pitch (the distance between the center of each key) suggests that the QWERTY area hasn’t been subjected to shrinkage, though.

A 2.4GHz wireless connection links the keyboard to the host PC, while power is provided by a pair of AA or AAA batteries. As long as you’re not setting the thing down on a magnetic surface, the range is supposed to be about 33 feet. That’s more than enough distance for home-theater PCs, which might be a good fit for Windows 8’s Modern UI.

While it’s unclear whether the keyboard is coming to North America, VR-Zone says Japanese customers will be able to pick one up next month for the equivalent of $107. That’s a little pricey given the apparent lack of fancy key switches, but I’m sure this won’t be the last desktop keyboard to feature a gesture area.

Comments closed
    • Thanato
    • 7 years ago

    This would be incredible if the pad was left of the keyboard. Touch screens for a PC seems lame, but for a keyboard it makes a lot sense. Having the pad of the left, would allow one to use the mouse with a touch pad for right hander’s at least. Could make more use of Windows 8 with that set up on a PC?

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Interesting design, but I think numerous taps on that numpad to actually use it as a numpad would lead to really sore digits.

      • Turkina
      • 7 years ago

      Not sure if pun is brilliant or unintentional….

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    I’m surprised at how much hate is piling on, given how many of us own the Logitech K400 for HTPC duty. This is the same basic thing with added features. I wouldn’t buy it for my desktop, but I’m also not buying Win8 for my desktop. On my HTPC, though, this would be a nice upgrade.

      • CasbahBoy
      • 7 years ago

      I would kill for an equivalent to the K400 that didn’t have such a terrible layout around the right shift key.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Agreed. That is my one pet peeve about the K400. Still I’m not going to pay 3 times the price for a shift key on a keyboard that doesn’t get used all that much.

    • robmuld
    • 7 years ago

    PgUp/PgDn adn Home/End keys would be more useful than a numeric keypad

    • Shouefref
    • 7 years ago

    Rubbish.

    • brute
    • 7 years ago

    what ugly hands in the reference photo

      • tootercomputer
      • 7 years ago

      Well, there ya go. Don’t buy it.

      • bender
      • 7 years ago

      Hate to say it, but that’s just what I was thinking. Kinda claw-like or something…

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      You have a failed fetish or what?

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    A flat numerical keypad with no tactile feedback….. well that would just be annoying.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      I would be open to the idea if it were a full-on touch screen, but it mostly just looks like a trackpad with specific tapping sections for num pad functionality.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        That’s exactly what it is. A trackpad with a printed layout and software to recognize “hotspots” as numeric key press.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          Because trackpads are a FLAWLESS technology…

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]A flat numerical keypad with no tactile feedback..... well that would just be annoying BECAUSE APPLE DIDN'T MAKE IT.[/quote<] FTFY, SSK style 🙂

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Na, you didn’t. I bet you more people touch type on a numeric keypad more then anywhere else on a keyboard.

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