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Input Devices Technology

Touchpad Meets Morphing Keyboard 85

Several sources are reporting on the new offering from the British firm Pelikon which combines a touchpad and morphing keyboard into a unique little device. "This isn't just any old morphing keyboard, you see. Not only can the board be dynamically reconfigured by backlighting different portions of the keys — the entire surface of the thing doubles as a touchpad, which you can probably imagine has virtually limitless utility in a mobile device where the space for a true touchpad simply doesn't exist. Pelikon already works with Toshiba on its domestic-market Biblio, but we'd love to see it hit devices around the world — in fact, we wouldn't really mind if they just released this prototype they're showing as a Bluetooth accessory. diNovo Mini competitor, anyone?"
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Touchpad Meets Morphing Keyboard

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  • This seems really neat and all. However...

    I have experience with two laptops. One had a touchpad, the other had both a touchpad and a trackpoint.

    When I only had a touch pad, I carried around an external mouse (well, trackball; Logitech Marble Mouse to be exact)---and I dreaded the times where I'd forget to bring it along and have to use the touch pad. With my current laptop which has a track point, I don't even think about whether I should bring along an external mouse---the track point works great and it's more convenient to not have to plug anything in. [and with edge scrolling and infinitely wide edges, the touchpad now works as a "scroll pad".]

    Granted, it the touchpad-only laptop was el cheapo and perhaps the touch pad wasn't the greatest. But still---track points are really great input devices (at least the one I have), and they're small enough to fit on practically speaking anything.

    So why bother with turning your keyboard into a touchpad? I imagine the user might trace a vertical line, intending to move the mouse around, but the device going "oh, r-f-v-space, what an interesting key combo." Or the user pawing and poking the keys somewhat less than straight, and the device not picking up on it. It seems... with my experience of touchpads, this seems like it could be dangerously full of fail and meh.

    (my $cents = 2)

  • Touch Feedback? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drethon ( 1445051 ) on Monday March 01, 2010 @12:59PM (#31318084)
    Maybe its just me but I have a hard time with typing with no feedback. I like feeling where I'm at on a keyboard...
  • Re:Touch Feedback? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Neoprofin ( 871029 ) <neoprofin@nOspam.hotmail.com> on Monday March 01, 2010 @02:34PM (#31319590)
    Agreed, I hate trying to convince myself that my friends iPhone can figure out which keys I meant to hit, especially the times when it has to wait until the end of the word to fix something. It takes typing from something that I can do by second nature on a couple of different keyboard layouts to something an exercise in trust and patience.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27