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Engelbart's chorded keyboard reborn as stunning red jellyfish

Sean Hollister
March 29, 2010
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In December 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart introduced the world to two brand-new computer peripherals of his own invention.The first was his invention, the computer mouse -- which, as you're well aware, revolutionized user input two decades later. The second, the chorded keyboard, still has yet to take off outside the Braille community. But after forty years, Doug Engelbart hasn't given up on the latter device; he recently commissioned an industrial designer, Erik Campbell, to modernize the antiquated keyset into this lovely jellyfish-inspired, five-fingered keyboard replacement. Made of silicon rubber and recycled plastics, the concept peripheral uses pressure-sensitive pads at each fingertip to detect key-presses, turns combinations of presses (the "chords") into letters and words, and sends them over wireless USB to the host computer. Sure, chorded computing isn't for everyone (else we'd all be sporting iFrogs and typing gloves), but if this concept ever comes to fruition, we just might be tempted to learn.

Update: Though Doug Engelbart brought us the computer mouse, he did not invent the chorded keyboard, merely demonstrated it at the same 1968 event. Thanks, MAS!

[Thanks, Semfifty]





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