Your smartphone's keyboard has loads of shortcuts that help you write faster, but the keyboard on your big, brawny PC doesn't. Seems illogical, doesn't it? Synaptics doesn't think it makes sense, either. The input firm is launching SmartBar, a technology that turns your keyboard's space bar into a touch-sensitive surface for gesture controls. You can swipe your thumb to select text, pinch to zoom in and program five "logical buttons" that perform macros, such as formatting text or building units in a favorite real-time strategy game. This might only save you a couple of seconds reaching for your mouse, but Synaptics is betting that those little time savings will add up.
Just how soon you'll get SmartBar depends on your hardware tastes. Thermaltake's gaming-focused Tt eSports badge has already committed to using this touch-savvy key, but it's not certain whether there will be a lot of additional support. It could take a while before you can get a SmartBar-equipped keyboard that's suitable for the office, folks. Still, don't be surprised if you soon find yourself finishing reports (and slaying monsters) just that little bit faster.
[Top image credit: Getty Images]