KeyMouse, a keyboard-mouse hybrid for both hands seeks funding on Kickstarter
If you think about how computer systems are controlled, mouse and keyboard probably come to mind first before touch and voice commands.
It is rather interesting that little progress has been made in improving mouse or keyboard usage. While some progress has been made, for instance by using lasers, not much has changed in terms of how the peripherals are designed.
Attempts have been made in the past to change that slightly, ergonomic keyboards come to mind, but nothing was as drastic as what the makers of KeyMouse plan to offer.
It reminds me somewhat of the Combimouse even though that used only one part of the keyboard as a mouse.
When you look at KeyMouse for the first time, you will notice that it looks like an ergonomic keyboard that has been cut in half.
The main idea behind KeyMouse is to eliminate the need to move a hand away from the keyboard to control the mouse.
This is done by combining both devices so that you can control the mouse and keyboard without moving your hands away from a device.
KeyMouse, at least the initial version the makers seek funding for on Kickstarter, features a full qwerty keyboard with all functions keys included.
Each device has mouse functionality built-in which you can switch off at the bottom if you only want one hand to control mouse movement for example. Since both work identical, it makes no difference if you are a left-handed or right-handed user.
KeyMouse ships with control software that offers button and key customizations. You can map functions or commands to buttons which get executed when you activate them.
The main keys are aligned at the top and split in half with each device featuring half the keys of a full querty keyboard. The function keys on the other hand have been moved to the side of the keyboard from the top, likely because it would be difficult to reach them if they were located above the regular keys.
Mouse buttons are attached to the area right behind the keyboard keys. You find four buttons and the mouse wheel attached to the palm rest on each device.
One interesting feature of the device is that the palm rest can be detached from the device and exchanged for a smaller or larger variant to accommodate different hand sizes.
When you look closer you will notice that there is no numpad area on either device. You can change some keys on the right device to number keys by selecting the NumShift key on the left.
The same is true for the arrow keys which you can also activate in similar fashion.
The current version uses Bluetooth to connect to computer systems. It is completely wireless and batteries will last about six months with average use according to the makers.
Here is the presentation video of the device:
I imagine that it would take quite some getting used to time before you can use the KeyMouse as fast as your standard mouse and keyboard combination.
While I would like to give it a try, I think that $249 for a set is quite expensive especially if you don't know if it will improve how you work on a computer.
If you are at this year's CES, you may be able to get your hands on the device.
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