Adelaide, Australia: Some mad people have created something that looks, at the moment, truly futuristic. Featuring a clear keyboard deck that sits over a large color screen, the keyboard has completely new mechanical switch technology, and modularity to make it useful for loads of different applications and workloads.
It’s currently in the Kickstarter phase, but there look to be physical samples already, demonstrated on the funding page. As always, if you do invest, be aware that the product may be late or suffer from unforeseen issues. Having said that, it looks well worth the risk, and you can head over to the Kickstarter page to learn more.
This is probable the closest we’re going to get to one of those future keyboards from Minority report, although you may not be able to swipe it into thin air. The screen underneath the keys changes depending on the app that you’re in, with the videos on the Kickstarter showing applications like Ableton showing different key legends depending on what you need the keyboard to do. A key could change a parameter on a music track for example, meaning you no longer need a key combination, only a single press on a key with a graphical representation of the function. It looks wicked.
You could also change the way the keyboard looks in an aesthetic sense. Fancy a new legend? You can do that. Want a new color in the background? You can do that too. You could even put a photo, or a video behind it to make it look really cool.
Across the top of the board, there’s a line of slots for different modules as well. The modules displayed are dials and knobs that also sit above the screen, giving graphical readouts of what they are doing. It’s a very cool-looking feature and one that could be quite useful to some apps and users.
It’s all possible because of what Flux calls ‘Maglev Switches’. They use magnets to suspend the switch above the screen, and then use Hall effect switches to achieve the keystroke. That means that each key has progressive input, which could be great for gamers. Flux explains “Each key is suspended by two pairs of magnets which act as a spring providing the return force and a satisfying low friction travel in either tactile or linear switch varieties. The position of each key is sensed by hall effect sensors positioned underneath the screen.”
At the moment you’ll get a keyboard if you pledge $349, and it’ll arrive around December 2023. That’s a lot of money for a mechanical keyboard – but if you’re looking for something truly different, then this could be super cool. I know I want one.