Since the Sholes and Glidden typewriter that first entered the market in 1874, little has changed for keyboards. Most typewriters and computers nowadays use a standardized QWERTY layout with all of the keys in uniform lines, stretching out from left to right. Granted, many people over the years have attempted to improve upon the QWERTY design, but none have been overtly successful. Perhaps this is a testament to the effectiveness of the QWERTY layout, but more likely, it is simply a tribute to an established routine that we do not yet know how to break.
The closest successful attempts have involved using a split keyboard design to enable our hands to type with greater ease on the existing QWERTY layout, but even those initial attempts were rather feeble. They involved using an inverted “V” shape to create two distinct zones for the hands to move to. While some people no doubt found the models to be an improvement upon the QWERTY design, they still were lacking in functionality.
Enter the Model 01 from Keyboardio. Designed by an enterprising group of individuals who initially just wanted a short-term project, their company, Keyboardio, has grown into a powerhouse with a funding campaign on Kickstarter that has more than doubled its initial goal of $120,000 with close to a month still left to go. Part of the reason for this campaigns extreme popularity is that the Model 01 address several long standing issues in contemporary keyboard design by incorporating:
- Sculpted keycaps
- Open source software
- An ergonomic design
- LED Backlighting
- A hardwood design
Keyboardio took a fairly standard QWERTY design and split the keyboard into two component parts in order to create a unique typing experience. With a cherry wood base to rest your palms, the Model 01 offers a comfortable writing experience that is unparalleled by other keyboards. Additionally, the sculpted keycaps help to guide your fingers across the keyboard to supposedly allow for an easier time typing out content, even with the keyboard separated into it’s two component parts, the sculpted keycaps apparently work to give you an easier time interpreting key location.
For those of you who like a backlit keyboard, the Model 01 utilizes open source software, which enables you to fully customize the lighting of each key. From no lights at all to a rainbow display of colors, the Model 01 can suit your individual preferences. Couple the lighting with an adjustable writing angle, and the Model 01 is the most customizable keyboard we’ve seen on the market since the WASD V2.
Perhaps the only major problem people are going to have is the cost. Currently you need to around 330 USD for pre-ordering to be able to secure yourself a Model 01, and while your writing may improve dramatically, you’ll have to gauge for yourself whether the benefits outweigh the initial cost. Although if you run a home business I’d suggest that you try to write it off as a business expense. It should help take away the sting. To be fair though, I’ll be buying one as soon as they’re out on the market.
YouTube: The Keyboardio Model 01: An heirloom-grade keyboard for serious typists
Photo credit: Keyboardio