QWERTY keyboards have come a long way since the humble typewriter, yet real innovation hasn't altered their basic utility. Now, well overdue for a refresh, it's finally happening, as designers are giving the common keyboard a serious rethinking. From laser projected keys
to ultra-quiet sets
, a new spate of typing accessories is enhancing life behind the desk.
Tech products are getting slimmer
and smaller, but the shrinkage effect
doesn’t make them easier to use. The Smartype Keyboard
, however, aims to make typing easier for those who hunt and peck. A product of Israeli company KeyView
, the keyboard is embedded with a miniature screen that allows users to see what they're typing in real time. Its developers believe that document writers spend too much time splitting their attention between the screen and the keys, resulting in eye strain as well as slower typing speeds and increased errors. But, with the contents displayed right above typists’ hands, users can communicate more efficiently and with greater accuracy.
As technology relics like vinyl record players are making a comeback
, typewriters continue to collect dust for the most part. To pay homage to the nostalgic machine, inventor Jack Zylkin
created a hack that transforms any old school typewriter into a functional keyboard for computers or tablets. Zylkin, an engineer by day, slings his USB Typewriters
—as well as conversion kits for those who have their own Smith Coronas—on Etsy
. USB typists can avoid the distractions of email and social media alerts, allowing them to focus their attention solely on putting text to paper, all with assurance that their work is being backed up digitally.
Logitech K310 Keyboard:
Super bacteria belong in petri dishes, not on one’s desktop. So, to keep office workers germ-free
, Logitech introduced the K310 washable keyboard
, a device that can be immersed in up to 11 inches of water and is studded with drainage holes for quick drying time. Laser printed keys and a protective UV coating ensure a sharp appearance after bath time, while the moderate price of $40 positions it as an agreeable expense for any office. Unlike some cordless inventions
by the same company, users will need to keep the USB connector safe and dry: a decidedly small accommodation for improved workspace hygiene.