Slightly related to my earlier blog post on 10/GUI, here's an old (but still interesting) multitouch keyboard concept from Art. Lebedev. After creating the awesome (and expensive) Optimus Maximus keyboard, their follow-up concept is basically a touchscreen shaped like a keyboard. It's called the Optimus Tactus.
This is the Optimus Tactus in "text mode":
Here's the same keyboard in "movie mode":
I suspect1 that this keyboard is quite hard to use as an actual text entry device, but I think it might be useful for things like music applications (where the device could show faders for each channel) or movie applications (where it could show jog wheels), and generally as a multitouch input device for systems like the aforementioned 10/GUI.
Obviously, I've never used one, so I could be wrong. The tactile feel of keys is rather important when typing, since it helps ensure that the hands don't move while typing. ↩︎
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