Have you ever thought about how you might improve the standard QWERTY keyboard? Jesse Vincent has. He's a keyboard enthusiast, a rare breed of geek inexplicably obsessed with text entry devices. We found him showing of Keyboardio at TechCrunch Disrupt -- a butterfly-shaped keyboard designed to put more emphasis on the opposable thumb. In addition to general ergonomic tweaks, Vincent's design puts keys like ctrl, delete, shift and alt under the user's left and right thumbs, taking the load of peripheral toggling off of the pinky finger. There's also a new "function" button under the typist's palms, which can apply macros and modifiers to almost any key.
Vincent says he's been experimenting with eliminating the mouse by using the function toggle to map the WASD keys to general cursor movement and using other keys to tell the mouse to "jump" to specific quadrants of the screen. This would allow users to manipulate the cursor without taking their hands off the keyboard, potentially limiting repetitive stress injuries. Vincent admits that his design is only going to appeal to a specific niche, but hey -- at least the keyboard enthusiasts on the GeekHack forums seem to dig it.