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Welcome to Device Tech Bytes 22th Vol! In the previous Tech Byte topic, we have learned All About WiMAX Technology! By Arun. In today topic let's discuss keyboard mechanisms. Have you guys never thought about computer keyboard mechanisms? like how many types of keyboard mechanisms are there and how they work?
The concept of pressing keys to enter text has been around for centuries. One of the early models of what later became known as a typewriter was created by Pellegrino Turri, who invented a mechanical typing machine for his blind lover so that she could write him letters- or so the story goes. But these typing machines didn’t always have the flat tablet-like structures they have today. The typewriters of old looked more like sewing machines than typing devices. In fact, they would be mounted on sewing machine tables and used with treadles.
Where it started
The QWERTY layout is attributed to an American inventor named Christopher Latham Sholes, and it made its debut in its earliest form on July 1, 1874 -- 142 years ago today. Sholes had been for some years developing the typewriter, filing a patent application in October 1867. However, the original key layout, with the second half of the alphabet in order on the top row and the first half in order on the bottom row, led to some problems. The keys were mounted on metal arms, which would jam if the keys were pressed in too rapid succession.
Fast forward to 2019, and computer keyboards are a whole different animal. They have transformed from the teletype machines to a range of sophisticated input devices that almost all of us have quite literally at our fingertips. In this article, we’ll explore all the different kinds of keyboards, and whom they are best for.
Types of keyboard mechanisms
A membrane keyboard is one whereby the keys are cushioned with rubber or silicone shell. These keys are very sensitive to the pressure applied to them. Due to its design, a membrane keyboard is relatively quiet even when you’re typing at a high speed. This keyboard consists of three key layers- a top membrane layer, an inner middle layer and a bottom membrane layer. Under these layers are conductive traces that activate the command when you press a certain key.
Membrane keyboards have risen to become the king of keyboards due to their affordability. You can find a quiet and responsive membrane keyboard for less than $20. If you were to purchase a mechanical keyboard, even an entry level model will cost you many times that. On the downside, using this type of keyboard might compromise your typing accuracy. At times, the keys are not registered as a hit because you didn’t press down all the way.
A mechanical keyboard works in a fairly similar manner. It also resists keystrokes, which means the keys return to their initial positions once a user removes their finger. But instead of using a rubber membrane, mechanical keyboards use springs. Springs result in smoother and more linear keystrokes. They also stimulate a quicker return to keys’ original positions. You only need to press the keys halfway for keystrokes to register. This particular feature makes mechanical keyboards superior because it results in fast typing speed.
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In general mechanical keyboards are a better choice ergonomically than membrane keyboards, especially for heavy typists and gamers who need low resistant, ultra responsive keys.
Ergonomic keyboards aren’t really a type of computer keyboards on their own, but rather refers to any keyboard that is designed to minimize strain on your body. Keyboards that are poorly designed not only slow your typing, but can lead to RSI (repetitive strain injuries) overtime, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
By definition, anything described as ergonomic means that it’s optimized for the human body. This holds true for ergonomic keyboards, which are generally considered more comfortable. They also cause less stress on your hands, fingers, and wrists.
Ergonomic keyboards come in two main designs:
There exist both regular and mechanical keyboards that are ergonomic, for people who often feel strained or fatigued at the end of a long typing session.
➨Left Handed Keyboards:
Left-handed keyboards are membrane or mechanical keyboards with the numbers pad placed on the left instead of right side of the keyboard. These types of keyboards can be more ergonomic than normal keyboards for the following people
If you like playing games on your PC, you could invest in an ordinary office keyboard and call it a day. But if you really want to take your gaming to the next level, a gaming keyboard can be highly conducive. These keyboards are specifically engineered to improve your gaming experience and victories
For serious gamers, look for a mechanical gaming keyboard that is low force and supports more than a 5-key rollover for nanosecond responsiveness.
Wireless technology has taken the world by storm: Wireless speakers, wireless security cameras, and of course, wireless keyboards. The main benefits of using a wireless keyboard are that they help to reduce clutter, plus allow you to control your device from a distance. For devices such as the TV that maybe a few feet away from where you are sitting, wireless keyboards are as much of a convenience as the remote control. The two main technologies powering wireless keyboards in the market today are.
The downside of wireless keyboards is that they need to be recharged periodically, though modern wireless keyboards can usually go for months, if not years, between a battery swap.
Imagine being able to use any flat surface to type on. For devices that don’t come with a built in physical keyboard, such as your phone or tablet, this could be a godsend. We’re talking about an optical virtual keyboard, or as it’s popularly known, a projection keyboard.
A highly rated projection keyboard is the Serafim Keybo, which can project a regular keyboard or piano keyboard virtually onto a flat surface. It also doubles as a smartphone stand and charger.
When it comes to wacky designs, wooden keyboards inhabit a realm of their own. Believe it or not, there are some keyboards made mostly from wood. The TrioGato and TechSmart Keyboards are good examples. They are handcrafted from bamboo and are wireless. In terms of functionality, a wooden keyboard works like an ordinary keyboard, as the internals still consists of the same circuitry and technology as regular keyboards.
If you spend most of your time behind a desk, choosing a good keyboard is nothing short of vital. This is the device you use to communicate with the world, complete work, and search for entertainment. There are tons of keyboards to choose from; ergonomic, projection, mechanical, membrane, handheld, wooden and even vertical keyboards. Before picking a particular keyboard, assess its pros and cons and determine whether it meets your needs.
ergonomictrends, wikipedia, google
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