The most used input device of a modern-day computer is the keyboard. Most of you out there use it on a daily basis and have become quite proficient with the QWERTY layout. Or maybe you prefer the Dvorak keyboard layout. This yet to be released keyboard from Sonder lets you customise your layout yourself. This includes not just letters, but emoji, shortcuts, icons for anything you want.
Customisable things are great, it means you can get them just the way that you want them. This is true for keyboards especially. Customising keyboard keys is usually having some dedicated macro keys that you can record your own key strokes and replay them whenever you want. This works fine, but most keyboards of this ilk are large and ungainly. This is where Sonder step in. 50 of its 78 keys are fully customisable, I don’t mean just what they do, but the way they look. The device is home to an e-ink screen which expands across all of the 50 customisable transparent keys.
This falls right in the ballpark of adolescent girls that only communicate with emoji. Each key could actually show the emoji on the key itself. However, this is a bit of a niche market, so what else could this be used for.
Well, imagine the myriad of short-cut combinations that programs like Photoshop use. You could switch the layout of the keyboard to display dedicated keys for all of your most used tools so you no longer have to remember every combination for every tool.
Now you have finished your day of productivity, you want to relax with a bit of gaming. Well, switch the keyboard over to display the controls for your favourite shooter. Instead of remembering your pistol is bound to the ‘3’ key, you can have a little picture of your weapon on the actual key.
Even though all these pictures show the command key of the Mac, the developers have said that they are working on a Windows version. This keyboard isn’t available yet, but you can pre-order one for $199 from the official website. The price if you don’t pre-order will be $299 upon release. The developers are planning to set up a Kickstarter campaign later this year to fund the project. It is unclear if the developers have the ability or money to put this into full production without the Kickstarter, so it may be beneficial to hold off on the pre-orders until more details are known.