Author Topic: Replacing arrow keys with a touch bar for a new keyboard style  (Read 732 times)

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Offline Crazy Designers

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Replacing arrow keys with a touch bar for a new keyboard style
« on: Fri, 14 October 2022, 03:32:23 »
Hello, I'm Crazy Designer from Angry Miao. It has been quite a while since I've posted in the "Making Stuff Together" section. This time it's not new functionality for CYBERBOARD, but something that would become an entirely new keyboard.

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I have been playing with the idea of replacing the arrow keys with a touch bar and using it to create a fully symmetrical keyboard.

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Now why would I consider doing that? After all, there are already numerous symmetrical keyboards out there. Well, there are two main reasons.

First of all, we can create a more compact design while retaining the functionality of the arrow keys. Arrow keys take up space and a touch bar can mitigate that.

Secondly, it can be used to achieve full symmetry. By implementing this touch bar, functionality would be the same as a 65 layout keyboard but with a shape that's fully balanced.

I've asked one of our designers to come up with renders to get an idea how that would look in real life. What do you guys think?

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Any thoughts? Do you think replacing the arrow keys with a touch bar would be a convenient solution? I would also love to hear if you have any suggestions for additional functionality that could be added to this touch bar. The touch bar would be quite spacious so there would be enough room to implement additional functionality.
« Last Edit: Fri, 14 October 2022, 03:51:33 by Crazy Designers »

Offline Coreda

  • Posts: 769
Re: Replacing arrow keys with a touch bar for a new keyboard style
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 14 October 2022, 04:02:50 »
Curious concept. Would the touch bar be like a trackpad (ie: for cursor movement) or is the idea to use sections of the bar for each arrow key?

If the former idea I think would have a lot more utility and be quite convenient for not having to take one's hands off the keyboard for cursor movement.

If it were only for arrow keys I would wonder how the layout would feel on a single row (if that's how they'd be arranged) and in combination with modifiers (shift, ctrl, alt).

Online Findecanor

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Re: Replacing arrow keys with a touch bar for a new keyboard style
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 14 October 2022, 06:24:25 »
There is enough space for an inverse-T arrow cluster if you move/scuff around some keys there. You have 1.5u unused on the left and also on the right. You need only one Ctrl key, and people prefer it in the left bottom corner if they don't have it located left of A.
Also, the HHKB space bar is 6u, not 7u, so you'd win 1u just there.

Otherwise, HHKB users are used to having arrow keys on a Fn-layer.
You could also split the Space Bar, to get more layer-modifiers.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller