Author Topic: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard  (Read 150133 times)

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Offline vvp

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #50 on: Tue, 23 April 2013, 03:00:35 »
Yes, I prefer split design too. I forgot to mention it. It is not that important to me though.

I would probably like a track point too but I do not have clear opinion where to put it. This may need a prototype to check it out. It should be placed carefully so that it is not too far from fingers/thumbs and especially it cannot interfere with typing. Probably somewhere around thumb clusters.
A) One option seems to be at the location of the current Alt keys (there would be a space there since the top row is supposed to be moved by 1 key to the sides). In this case it would need to be about as tall as the keys in the thumb cluster top row.
B) Other option seems to be below the new positions for PageDown/End keys. In this case it should be smaller than the PageDown/End keys and the thumb cluster should be moved up by half a key too. This looks better. Based on how shiny my 1x2 keys are, I'm clearly hitting them at the top half so a bit of move up should do well.
C) Below the new 1x1.5 Enter/Delete keys is an option too. This would want the move of the thumb cluster up by 0.5 key as in option B. Again the track point should be fairly low - at most as high as pressed PageDown/Enter/End/Delete keys.
And if it is there it should be on both sides.

Moving thumb clusters not only to the side by about 0.5 key but also up seems to be a good idea regardless.

Offline automator

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #51 on: Tue, 23 April 2013, 12:48:13 »
Adjustable thumb cluster seems like a good idea instead : I wouldn't want mine any closer

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #52 on: Mon, 29 April 2013, 14:34:19 »
The thumb clusters on my Split Kinesis are going to be put on a gimbal so they can be angled independently of the key wells. I have 1 axis, but the second axis is still to be determined. Then there's the spacing adjustability, I have not worked on that yet.
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Offline lally

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #53 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 14:02:58 »
Hi.  I've been on various Kinesis Advantage (a white PS/2, now two Black USBs (one for home, one for office)) keyboards since 1997.  I'm a programmer, and I work at a software shop.  There are at least a hundred Kinesis Advantage keyboards there.  I *strongly* suggest looking at programmers quite seriously.  First, we're not nearly as price sensitive as others.  You can make a programmer-specific Advantage for $100 more and most of us wouldn't bat an eye.  (if you feel you have to sell that, just refer to http://xkcd.com/1205/ ).  Second, there are a *lot* of us, and we often run out of computer stuff to buy, but still have a certain joy in buying more random computer stuff.

The first, and most ridiculous weakness of the keyboard is the rubber top row.  Please, move the keys PrintScr - Progrm to the center, and give us real Esc and Function keys.  The Esc key is _critical_ (ref: vim), and the Function keys are as important as the lesser-used punctuation on the primary keyboard. 

Second is the lack of a pointing device.  The reason that this is so important is the amount of desk space that the advantage takes up.  Programmers don't need anything fancy here, but we have to use the web like everyone else.  A trackpoint between (and slightly below) the thumb clusters would be ideal.  Consider pluggable modules for a trackpoint or track-pad.  Again, for us, money's really not the problem.

Third is the layout.  I've already covered the top rubber row.  But, the arrow keys and brackets are in an awful place.  I think you should move the arrow keys into a proper cluster of four to the right of the status lights (and above the right control key).  The brackets should move to the top row, next to F12 (assuming you'd follow my advice on the top row).

For the new Esc/F1-F12, trackpoint, and moved arrow/brackets, I'd hand you $500 in cash without hesitation.

Make it in topre switches and you can ask for more.

Offline islisis

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #54 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 18:27:53 »
great post, i'm imagining a shop of 100 advantages right now :D
with that experience one thing i thought you might have tried is programming your keyboard for more layout functionality... for example, i count >600 global hotkeys you can create by mapping dual-role modifier keys, with 100 more per thumb key modded to the keyboard - and just for one hand. in fact, for this reason DR keys in firmware would be a truly useful feature in new programmable kinesis keyboards

you can never have enough keys... but for productivity it's more important to think about ensuring hands never stray from the home position designated so clearly by the kinesis's layout. so, i'm a fan of its minimalism

what i really loved however is your suggestion for topre >< i don't even dare dream that combination in low force...
« Last Edit: Fri, 24 May 2013, 00:54:15 by islisis »

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #55 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 20:06:39 »
Make it in topre switches and you can ask for more.
I don't find Topre switches to be particularly ergonomic. They make my hands ache after I have used them for a long time. If you want rubber dome, consider the ErgoMatic - a rubber dome, licensed Maltron clone.
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Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #56 on: Sat, 11 May 2013, 01:10:14 »
Hi.  I've been on various Kinesis Advantage (a white PS/2, now two Black USBs (one for home, one for office)) keyboards since 1997.  I'm a programmer, and I work at a software shop.  There are at least a hundred Kinesis Advantage keyboards there.  I *strongly* suggest looking at programmers quite seriously.  First, we're not nearly as price sensitive as others.  You can make a programmer-specific Advantage for $100 more and most of us wouldn't bat an eye.  (if you feel you have to sell that, just refer to http://xkcd.com/1205/ ).  Second, there are a *lot* of us, and we often run out of computer stuff to buy, but still have a certain joy in buying more random computer stuff.

The first, and most ridiculous weakness of the keyboard is the rubber top row.  Please, move the keys PrintScr - Progrm to the center, and give us real Esc and Function keys.  The Esc key is _critical_ (ref: vim), and the Function keys are as important as the lesser-used punctuation on the primary keyboard. 

Second is the lack of a pointing device.  The reason that this is so important is the amount of desk space that the advantage takes up.  Programmers don't need anything fancy here, but we have to use the web like everyone else.  A trackpoint between (and slightly below) the thumb clusters would be ideal.  Consider pluggable modules for a trackpoint or track-pad.  Again, for us, money's really not the problem.

Third is the layout.  I've already covered the top rubber row.  But, the arrow keys and brackets are in an awful place.  I think you should move the arrow keys into a proper cluster of four to the right of the status lights (and above the right control key).  The brackets should move to the top row, next to F12 (assuming you'd follow my advice on the top row).

For the new Esc/F1-F12, trackpoint, and moved arrow/brackets, I'd hand you $500 in cash without hesitation.

Make it in topre switches and you can ask for more.

A few points...
FIRST, you can remap the Kinesis extensively...several programmers have put the F-key row on the number row on the second layer...

SECOND, a pointing device is screaming to be matched with the keyboard...but I disagree with your comment that the Kinesis takes up a lot of desk space. It certainly LOOKS larger than the dimensions actually are. It's similar in size to a standard keyboard, but of course not a TKL.

Third-REMAP!!!!

On the pointing device thoughts...the Split Kinesis project (see my sig) has an IBM Trackpoint integrated into the right key well. I used an Apple Magic Mouse 360 degree scrollball for the left finger in the nook between the "B" key and the left thumb cluster. I also have had the idea of having a trackpad mounted to the right key well, but haven't engineered that idea yet.

I spend some time at various Silicon Valley giants (Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Ebay/Paypal) and I see quite a few Kinesis Advantages, definitely a prime market for this product.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline vvp

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #57 on: Sat, 11 May 2013, 05:39:57 »
... The Esc key is _critical_ (ref: vim), and the Function keys are as important as the lesser-used punctuation on the primary keyboard.

... I've already covered the top rubber row.  But, the arrow keys and brackets are in an awful place.  I think you should move the arrow keys into a proper cluster of four to the right of the status lights (and above the right control key).  The brackets should move to the top row, next to F12 (assuming you'd follow my advice on the top row).
...

Every vim user should swap CapsLock and Esc keys. If you did not do it yet then try it out. It is great.

Remap is your friend. But its usefulness is limited by small amount of physical modifiers.

E.g. remap would allow me to also avoid the rubber keys completely. They are hard to hit without looking. The biggest problem I see with the current kinessis is that it does not have enough modifier keys. It is not easy to find key combinations to hook remaps too. Hooking them to the common Ctr/Alt/Shft modifiers can often clash with applications. We are actually at least 2 commonly used modifiers short now (left and right Windows keys). Keymap layer can mitigate this problem for people who do not mind foot switch. I find a foot switch uncomfortable. And keypad button position is terrible. And it has layer-toggle kind not a layer-shift kind. From this point of view adding two inner columns of keys as ErgoDox did is a great idea. Even the new bottom edge pinky keys are good. Not so easy to reach but, well, if someones RSI prevents their use they can be left unused. We have currently more or less unused rubber keys row now so it should not be a big deal :)

Oops, talking too much.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #58 on: Sat, 11 May 2013, 09:02:49 »
I failed to mention that a few added keys to the Kinesis is a 100% WIN! There are a couple threads on GH where up to 6 keys are added (available on the Kinesis matrix). And, as an added bonus a couple of the added keys can be added as the now-famous 'palm keys' aiding in RSI.
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Offline sordna

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #59 on: Sat, 11 May 2013, 11:30:18 »
I failed to mention that a few added keys to the Kinesis is a 100% WIN! There are a couple threads on GH where up to 6 keys are added (available on the Kinesis matrix). And, as an added bonus a couple of the added keys can be added as the now-famous 'palm keys' aiding in RSI.

Up to 6 keys you said?? Count again, I added eight :-)

Kinesis Contoured Advantage LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Contoured Model 110, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, KBC Poker (Cherry MX Red), IBM Space Saving keyboard (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline lally

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #60 on: Sat, 11 May 2013, 21:35:00 »
Wow, great response!

I'm an Emacs-er first, with some vimming for quick edits (configuration files, etc).  So, my caps-lock is mapped to Control.  Additionally, the "delete" key is swapped with Alt (to act as Meta). 

More than that, I'm not going to do.  First, I use laptops pretty regularly, so extensive macro-programming is just going to confuse me.  Second, the keybindings I've got in Emacs are already pretty complex, I don't want to have to complicate this further.  The interactions between macros and the Emacs input state can be complicated.  Certainly more than I want to deal with.  With all the space it takes, I really shouldn't have to.  Mapping the numeric keys to F1-F10 could work if there was a "Fn" key of some sort.  Emacs already uses Control-[Number] and Alt-[Number], and I've got Win-[Number] mapped to virtual desktops.

But really, the rubber keys are awful.  They have no business being there.

Offline automator

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #61 on: Sun, 12 May 2013, 11:58:57 »
There are at least a hundred Kinesis Advantage keyboards there.  I *strongly* suggest looking at programmers quite seriously.

Agree totally. 
Programmer, Emacs user when I can but I float between a lot of editors, OS's, etc.

Offline regicide

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #62 on: Sun, 12 May 2013, 20:10:12 »
The first, and most ridiculous weakness of the keyboard is the rubber top row.  Please, move the keys PrintScr - Progrm to the center, and give us real Esc and Function keys.  The Esc key is _critical_ (ref: vim), and the Function keys are as important as the lesser-used punctuation on the primary keyboard. 

Second is the lack of a pointing device.  The reason that this is so important is the amount of desk space that the advantage takes up.  Programmers don't need anything fancy here, but we have to use the web like everyone else.  A trackpoint between (and slightly below) the thumb clusters would be ideal.  Consider pluggable modules for a trackpoint or track-pad.  Again, for us, money's really not the problem.

Third is the layout.  I've already covered the top rubber row.  But, the arrow keys and brackets are in an awful place.  I think you should move the arrow keys into a proper cluster of four to the right of the status lights (and above the right control key).  The brackets should move to the top row, next to F12 (assuming you'd follow my advice on the top row).

As a vim user you should either map esc to caps lock or learn to love ctrl-c, reaching all the way to the top row is really wasteful especially considering how easily remapping keys on the kinesis is.

I actually love the placement of the arrow keys, and much prefer their current position to the idea of moving them to a middle cluster although I could always remap them back to their current positions if there was space to do so.

Sometimes I have to take a quick glance to find the { and } keys as I am used to them being right of the p, however I would hate for the brackets to be on function row (even if they were mechanical) simply because that increases the distance to them and as a programmer I use these keys often (an analysis of my code and typing shows I use bracket keys more than any number keys and even parts of the alphabet).

If you managed to get a nice trackpad in there with decent multitouch support under Linux (really only want 2 finger scrolling and 2/3 finger right/middle click) I would be very happy.
For examples of good trackpads see the Macbook Air, Thinkpad X1 Carbon or Logitech T650 (although this lacks multitouch support under Linux :( )


I really like the ability to program my Kinesis without software, please keep this, as a Linux user and someone who carries my keyboards between many systems I love being able to trivially remap keys on the keyboard itself.

I would also quite like the ability to get some cherry blue keyswells (even if they are sold separately and require manual installation), even though I cant use them at the office I do miss having them at home (the kinesis click isn't quite as satisfying).
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Online dorkvader

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #63 on: Mon, 13 May 2013, 09:52:37 »
Given that the keyboard is set to a specific width anyway (as it should, to account for the shoulders), the extra space in the middle is begging for something useful: a trackpad or trackball or the like.
Myself, I'd just put a middle click button there for rapid access to linux paste.

Offline regicide

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #64 on: Thu, 16 May 2013, 02:25:59 »
Thinking about it a bit more I think it would be cool if we had another column on the inside of the 2 hand wells, namely to the right of g and the left of h.
See the ergodox for a picture of this
This would allow me to even further reduce the load of my pinkies without overburdening my thumbs.
2 Kinesis advantages (MX browns)

Offline fatmav

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #65 on: Sat, 18 May 2013, 13:17:29 »
Given that the keyboard is set to a specific width anyway (as it should, to account for the shoulders), the extra space in the middle is begging for something useful: a trackpad or trackball or the like.
Myself, I'd just put a middle click button there for rapid access to linux paste.

I tried putting a trackpad there once, but it was quite uncomfortable since I use pointing devices such as trackball or trackpads with my wrist resting on a surface. But I have some high hopes for the coming Leap motion controller. It may be very cool if, for example, I can just swipe my right hand to the left hand side of the keyboard to do a browser-back.

Offline seva1385

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #66 on: Sun, 26 May 2013, 17:51:23 »
Please share any thoughts and ideas of what you would like to see for the next version of Contoured keyboard.

Open sourced firmware! Why rely on a third party provider who is prone to go out of business and considerably increases the price of the finished product, when you can get it from the faithful enthusiasts, who are probably at least as well equipped, and the pool of them will outlast the product?

For example, chrisandrea put together an excellent piece of code, though his approach relies on hardware modification and uses different Atmel microcontroller.

As of now, macro feature is not very useful, and the lack of keypad shift, or some other modifier, robs the user of some useful shortcuts.

It would be nice if you provided some add-on to make the keyboard wireless.

Other than that, excellent keyboard! Now that I discovered it, there is no going back. Thank you!

Kinesis Advantage (2 original + 1 with QMK f/w)
Maltron RH

Offline Keyboard search

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #67 on: Tue, 18 June 2013, 08:47:40 »
I would like to see an option for Bluetooth connectivity (with Windows, Mac/iOS, and Android compatibility) - could be similar to how KBTalking does their bluetooth

I would like to see function key row with real keys and key switches.

Highest quality keycap material would be nice; doubleshots if that will make it any nicer.

Above all, I would like an option to buy a Kinesis Advantage with numpad designed in between the two halves.
I use my modded Kinesis Advantage (Black).  It has a Kinesis numpad between the halves.

Online dorkvader

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #68 on: Tue, 18 June 2013, 12:44:12 »
I would like to see an option for Bluetooth connectivity (with Windows, Mac/iOS, and Android compatibility) - could be similar to how KBTalking does their bluetooth

I would like to see function key row with real keys and key switches.

Highest quality keycap material would be nice; doubleshots if that will make it any nicer.

Above all, I would like an option to buy a Kinesis Advantage with numpad designed in between the two halves.
Interestingly enough, kinesis did used to use doubleshot keycaps. I, however, would like to see some PBT for better durability.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #69 on: Tue, 18 June 2013, 18:18:57 »
Numpad:
I use the embedded keypad in the right key well, it seems to be very functional. Do you think it's a drawback? Have you tried using it? Just curious.
Maltron has the numpad in the middle, no doubt it's convenient if you don't have the second  layer.

Doubleshot keycaps:
I'm using the original white with blue legends doubleshot keycaps on my black Kinesis Advantage with o-rings because they feel better. I prefer blank keys...but these doubleshots feel better, so I use them. The keyboard deserves higher, rather than lesser quality key caps. Sure would like to get blank PBT, but there are 2 ways. 1) go to SP and pay a fortune for a set, and 2) get all keycaps except just a few. I have a thread about this, but it's was abandoned a little over a year ago. I'll wait to see what Kinesis does with the new model before I make an effort in the key cap direction again.

One note: The white doubleshots do not fall off the switches on the much older (S/N #31,XXX) Kinesis they came from. But several will fall off my newer (S/N #81,XXX) Kinesis Advantage. Others have noted this. Maybe the newer Cherry stems are a fraction smaller.
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Offline vatin

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #70 on: Tue, 18 June 2013, 18:55:57 »
Embeded keypad is only useful only with quick access to it. Palm key mod makes that possible for me. Rubber keys are simply unacceptable.
Ergodox EZ MX red
Ergodox Infinity MX red

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #71 on: Tue, 18 June 2013, 19:32:49 »
Palm key mod is beyond excellent.

Using the embedded numpad is a 2 button access, right? So for just a few numbers, it's a no go, so I use the number row, but anything else it seems to be good.

The Split Kinesis I've done replaced the 18 rubber keys with 12 key switches. The remaining 6 keys were to be relocated, but I only actually moved 2, before I had to stop. I have to locations for the other 4, but work is not done.
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Offline TGVarik

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #72 on: Fri, 12 July 2013, 22:49:33 »
I have to second (eighth? ninth maybe?) the request for open firmware. On-board remapping is great, but what I'll really need once I get my employer to let me use an Advantage at work is the ability to switch at will between a traditional QWERTY layout and a customized Colemak. I'd love to be able to replace the built-in Dvorak with a custom map, and switch it out with the same key combo.

Full split with adjustable tent would be nice, too. But if I can only have one wish, I'll take the open firmware.

Offline Sciurid89

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #73 on: Sun, 28 July 2013, 17:24:09 »
I'd like one where the bottom row of keys is chopped off entirely (arrows and brackets and whatever on an altgr layer instead) and the thumb clusters moved *down* (toward the desk) and in toward the keys, so that I can actually reach the thumb buttons. The tendons that pull the thumbs out were just killing me after using it for a week.

Offline shkm

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #74 on: Mon, 05 August 2013, 10:03:04 »
Is there a new estimated release date on this thing? I'm eager to buy a Kinesis, but I'm holding back for the new one. If the feature requests are anything to go by, the new one is going to be awesome!

Also, it would be really nice if you guys could come up with an official blank key model (i.e. not exclusively available directly from Kinesis I don't live in the US so import duty costs a fortune).

Offline kaltar

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #75 on: Tue, 03 September 2013, 21:28:44 »
Some more:
- a programable additional layer, so when the button is pressed, all keys can be switched to another layout (Currently doing such things with Controllermate)
- the rubber function keys are crap! please change them for real mechanical keys.
- selling replaceable keys :) so the look can be changed without extreme mods.

Offline uberben

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #76 on: Wed, 04 September 2013, 22:47:44 »
I found this thread a bit late, but will add my voice. I've been using a Kinesis Essential daily for the past two years. These suggestions are roughly in order of importance to me.

1. Open source firmware (and even open source hardware)
   - I see this as the most valuable feature. It should cut your development costs and since many of your customers are developers, I imagine it would be a selling feature too.
2. Regular Cherry function keys
3. Function layer shift key in the main keyset, not just on the foot switch
4. Trackpoint/trackball option
   - I can see many users wanting only one or the other, or even wanting none at all. Trackpad is less critical as it is pretty easy to put an Apple Magic Trackpad or other off the shelf trackpad on top of the keyboard.
5. Detachable USB cable
   - having connections for both mini and micro USB would be a bonus for those that already have tons of spare cables scattered around, but never seem to have one of each
6. Bluetooth option
   - for acceptable battery life, it would require efficient firmware that puts the keyboard to sleep often, but also wakes up instantly. As an example, I have two wireless mice, both Logitech, and the older one has a lifespan of about a week, while the newer one has a life span of about two years. Some of that difference is probably the modern hardware, but I suspect that a lot of it is the firmware.
7. Blank keycap and/or Dvorak only option
8. Regular profile keycaps only
   - if I recall correctly, the only odd caps are the tall thumb keys, the 1.25 keys, and the '3' and '8' keys. The 1.25 keys and the out of place number keys can probably be switched to regular caps by adjusting the tilt of the actual keyswitch (though I haven't spent anything on R&D to confirm this). The tall thumb keys might be replaceable by staggering a separate pcb into the thumb cluster. A little hard to explain in text, but instead of having the single PCB in each thumb cluster that is the shape of a 3x3 grid with the corner taken out, you could make a PCB the size of a 2x3 grid with a bit of an extra lip at the top edge, then you can make the taller keys on a 1x2 grid PCB with a bit of a lip at the bottom edge. Rest the smaller board on the larger one and solder some pins through, and you should be able to use the same profile keycap as the home and page up keys. I imagine this would add to your manufacturing costs, but perhaps it would save you some since the keycaps would be regular profiles.
9. Reduce the height of the keyboard
   - I love the well shape (the lowest row is the only one that is a tad awkward to reach, but it is much less awkward than it would be if I tried to press the same keys on a traditional keyboard, so I'm happy) and the wrist rest area is pretty necessary to accommodate those raised keys, but I suspect that you could shave a bit off the bottom of the case under the key wells, even just by using lower profile rubber bumpers. I find that I can never find a chair that is tall enough to sit comfortably with my Kinesis on top of the desk, and the Kinesis doesn't fit in most keyboard trays either.
10. Increase the tenting angle slightly
   - this might go against the height reduction in the previous point, but I can see it being more comfortable
11. The current Kinesis models are great for modding. There is lots of space inside and the key remapping makes things easy to customize. Keep this up. Additionally, I know that the current models have some unused keys in the matrix. If you could break out some pins to these blank parts of the matrix, perhaps with non-populated .1" headers, this would make life for the modding community much easier. Adding extra keys like the palm keys many users are adding would then be trivial, but could be left to the end user so they aren't forced on anyone that doesn't want them. You could even use this to your advantage in the future by offering different upgrade packages such as a new top shell with pre-installed palm switches.
12. Split option
   - I would definitely consider chair mounting a split version. I liked the one suggestion of having each half be a separate keyboard, but I know that some operating systems can't handle dual keyboards very well (if I recall correctly, if you hold shift on one keyboard on a Mac, the second keyboard's keypresses are not shifted). This could also limit the possible features in an open source firmware such as an inverted number/symbol row since the press of the shift key would need to be known at the keyboard level, not just at the operating system level.
12. Headphone port
   - perhaps not all that useful, but one feature I've wished for on occasion
13. Reduced price
   - I'm pretty sure that the difference between the current Pro and the regular models in an additional $1 memory chip, a $0.50 toggle switch, and a different colour top case (and perhaps also a slightly different firmware). I'm not sure if the Pro significantly subsidizes the price of the regular model at this time, but I know that both models are prohibitively expensive for myself and others. I lucked out and got a like-new Kinesis Essential (a roughly 10 year old board, I think) for about 1/3 retail of a new board, otherwise I probably couldn't have bought it. I understand how retail works and that you guys need to make a profit in order to keep making these things, which we all want, but bringing the price for a basic model down from about $300 to $200 would make it immensely more accessible.

I've had lots of ideas (these and other), but really the fantastically unique and comfortable keyboard is what inspired all those ideas. If the next model were nearly identical to this one, I would still be very happy with it. Thanks for an awesome board, and I look forward to the new one.

Offline kaltar

  • Posts: 138
  • Location: Miami, FL
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #77 on: Thu, 05 September 2013, 01:16:31 »

13. Reduced price
   - I'm pretty sure that the difference between the current Pro and the regular models in an additional $1 memory chip, a $0.50 toggle switch, and a different colour top case (and perhaps also a slightly different firmware). I'm not sure if the Pro significantly subsidizes the price of the regular model at this time, but I know that both models are prohibitively expensive for myself and others. I lucked out and got a like-new Kinesis Essential (a roughly 10 year old board, I think) for about 1/3 retail of a new board, otherwise I probably couldn't have bought it. I understand how retail works and that you guys need to make a profit in order to keep making these things, which we all want, but bringing the price for a basic model down from about $300 to $200 would make it immensely more accessible.


Amen.

Offline uberben

  • Posts: 62
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #78 on: Thu, 05 September 2013, 08:55:54 »
14. Integrated Qi charger option
   - like many others, I ofter put my phone down on top of my keyboard. If there was built in Qi inductive charging, which many phones come with these days, that would be awesome. I would suggest making it optional to help keep at least some model available at a lower price point. Perhaps offering an upgrade kit would work too.
15. Dual bluetooth/USB functionality
   - this would be great for when you take your kinesis away from your laptop/phone/tablet that has bluetooth and want to connect it to your desktop which might not have it. It would also remove the need to sync with new computers if only used briefly. Charging the battery over this USB connection would be great too, and if you can turn off the bluetooth radio during charging, it might even charge faster.

Ok, back to work.

Offline Findecanor

  • Posts: 3593
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #79 on: Thu, 05 September 2013, 09:09:08 »
15. Dual bluetooth/USB functionality
Not a bad idea. Many Kinesis users use the keyboard in the lap.
"Normal is the greatest enemy in regard to creating the new. To get around this you have to understand normal not as reality but as just a construct." -- Alan Kay
Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)

Offline petreza

  • Posts: 3
When is the new Advantage model coming out?
« Reply #80 on: Mon, 14 October 2013, 18:32:26 »
When is the new Advantage model coming out?

Offline vatin

  • Posts: 158
  • Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #81 on: Fri, 18 October 2013, 22:01:40 »
Hi, any updates?
Could you share the main design decision so far?
Is it going to remain as one piece or totally split? Contoured? (hopefully).
I also keep my eye on Nexus/ErgoGP. Whichever is better gets my money.
« Last Edit: Fri, 18 October 2013, 22:03:44 by vatin »
Ergodox EZ MX red
Ergodox Infinity MX red

Offline kaltar

  • Posts: 138
  • Location: Miami, FL
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #82 on: Mon, 21 October 2013, 11:55:08 »
I also keep my eye on Nexus/ErgoGP. Whichever is better gets my money.

If I get the nexus and the new Advantage is better, I'll get both!

Offline petreza

  • Posts: 3
Re: When is the new Advantage model coming out?
« Reply #83 on: Tue, 22 October 2013, 21:42:54 »
OK.Maybe my question was too specific, so let me change it:

I need to get Advantage/Advantage Pro soon but would really hate it if I bought one now and the new, more capable, model comes out within a month or two. If it comes out 6 months or a year later I would not mind.
So:
Could someone who knows confirm that a new model is indeed in the works.
And,
Any idea approximately how soon can we expect it?

Thanks!

When is the new Advantage model coming out?

Offline natas206

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #84 on: Wed, 23 October 2013, 17:04:01 »
Hello petreza, sorry I missed your post. The new version will not be available within the next two months. We were hoping by the end of this year but it's looking like early next year.

Offline synerr

  • Posts: 95
  • Location: London
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #85 on: Tue, 29 October 2013, 06:46:05 »
Bit late, but my 2c as a user of 2 months:

 - proper function keys not those horrible rubbery things at the top

 - more keys

 - more realistic pricing - a lot of us have bought the kinesis out of necessity not vanity and paid for it out of own pockets not medical insurance.  Got the kinesis as a more affordable (with great difficulty) over the maltron and still walked away with a bitter after taste of having been ripped off.

 - open firmware.  most people will never touch this.  Those who do will probably do great things and only help promote the product anyway.

 - Flat centre areas where one can more easily place a trackpad, 2ndary keypad, instrumentations of sorts, etc.  Preferably with snap/screw out panels for vendor or after market provided add ons.

 - standard key caps and some nicer key cap options.

- PS/2 / USB detachable cables.

- Affordable protective carry box.  I generally work from home but whenever I go onsite or travel I have to take my keyboard with me.

- Revamped marketing material doing away with that horrible horrible picture of a suited guy's hands gliding over a keyboard.  A new website that doesn't scream "we will take all your money and then won't even pay for a simple website that looks half decent".
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Offline datangel

  • Posts: 1
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #86 on: Thu, 14 November 2013, 09:30:24 »
I'd like to see keys that don't work if you press them too hard, at least as an option. This would help train RSI sufferers like myself to not press the keys too hard :)

Offline kaltar

  • Posts: 138
  • Location: Miami, FL
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #87 on: Sun, 01 December 2013, 04:19:40 »
I just wish you guys could give us a preview! :)

Offline synerr

  • Posts: 95
  • Location: London
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #88 on: Tue, 03 December 2013, 09:06:54 »
Another suggestion - to evaluate using a firmer switch (white?) for the 4 larger thumb buttons
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Offline pepstein

  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Bay Area, California
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #89 on: Tue, 03 December 2013, 14:54:50 »
I've been using Kinesis keyboards for over a decade. I'm using 3 right now, and have many more older models too. It's great to hear you're working on an updated model! It's probably far too late for my suggestions to be relevant, but here they are anyway:
  • I miss the old doubleshot keycaps. The smooth feel of the 8 home keys on the old doubleshots is especially missed.
  • Use a full sized escape key and function keys.
  • Add an Fn key to the left thumbpad. On Macs this would provide access to media keys and the other stuff they put on their Function keys, and it'd also provide access to the embedded keypad.
  • Dvorak only keycaps, Colemak keycaps, blank keycaps, more color options, etc.
  • Colemak support built in, as you already have for Dvorak. I use Dvorak myself, but Colemak is likely to be more popular than Dvorak in the future.
  • Minimize the total height of keyboard to improve arm ergonomics (horizontal forearm). This probably means you can't increase tenting.
  • Move thumb keys closer to the key wells if possible, so furthest row of thumb keys are easier to reach.
  • Lower key travel to make it feel more like a laptop keyboard, just because that's what the current generation are used to.
  • Bluetooth wireless if you can get decent battery life.
  • Kinesis keyboards are loud. O-rings help, but perhaps the inside should be filled with foam or something.
  • Minimize changes to key layout, so existing users can adapt to the new keyboard quickly.

« Last Edit: Tue, 03 December 2013, 15:37:47 by pepstein »

Offline synerr

  • Posts: 95
  • Location: London
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #90 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 11:11:46 »
I've been using Kinesis keyboards for over a decade. I'm using 3 right now, and have many more older models too. It's great to hear you're working on an updated model! It's probably far too late for my suggestions to be relevant, but here they are anyway:
  • I miss the old doubleshot keycaps. The smooth feel of the 8 home keys on the old doubleshots is especially missed.
  • Use a full sized escape key and function keys.
  • Add an Fn key to the left thumbpad. On Macs this would provide access to media keys and the other stuff they put on their Function keys, and it'd also provide access to the embedded keypad.
  • Dvorak only keycaps, Colemak keycaps, blank keycaps, more color options, etc.
  • Colemak support built in, as you already have for Dvorak. I use Dvorak myself, but Colemak is likely to be more popular than Dvorak in the future.
  • Minimize the total height of keyboard to improve arm ergonomics (horizontal forearm). This probably means you can't increase tenting.
  • Move thumb keys closer to the key wells if possible, so furthest row of thumb keys are easier to reach.
  • Lower key travel to make it feel more like a laptop keyboard, just because that's what the current generation are used to.
  • Bluetooth wireless if you can get decent battery life.
  • Kinesis keyboards are loud. O-rings help, but perhaps the inside should be filled with foam or something.
  • Minimize changes to key layout, so existing users can adapt to the new keyboard quickly.


Shhhh ... don't say things like shorter travel.  Management pick up on those things and they may toy with the idea of cutting costs further by switching to ML switches or something.  There is a linear red (not my thing) option for those so inclined.

I would love to see one of the older Kinesis to see how the build quality has changed.  The keycaps that came with mine truly and truly suck and the whole package generally feels 'cheap'.  Which having spent a fortune out of pocket I must say I expected something better.  Little things, like those odious shiny steel pozidrives which could easily be replaced by pleasant anodised black hex sockets.

The function key would be brilliant ... if you look at the ergo dox there is another index finger row of keys.  That would be a useful addition.
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Offline Input Nirvana

  • Master of the Calculated Risk
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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #91 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 06:35:16 »
Pepstein/Synner/Uberben:

Fortunately many of the items that are listed as "wants" on a Kinesis are items that can be done by us, the end user. I don't know if any of the items listed can make it into a final production  Kinesis board :(
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
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Offline natas206

  • * Commercial Vendor
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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #92 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 18:20:43 »
I've been using Kinesis keyboards for over a decade. I'm using 3 right now, and have many more older models too. It's great to hear you're working on an updated model! It's probably far too late for my suggestions to be relevant, but here they are anyway:
  • I miss the old doubleshot keycaps. The smooth feel of the 8 home keys on the old doubleshots is especially missed.
  • Use a full sized escape key and function keys.
  • Add an Fn key to the left thumbpad. On Macs this would provide access to media keys and the other stuff they put on their Function keys, and it'd also provide access to the embedded keypad.
  • Dvorak only keycaps, Colemak keycaps, blank keycaps, more color options, etc.
  • Colemak support built in, as you already have for Dvorak. I use Dvorak myself, but Colemak is likely to be more popular than Dvorak in the future.
  • Minimize the total height of keyboard to improve arm ergonomics (horizontal forearm). This probably means you can't increase tenting.
  • Move thumb keys closer to the key wells if possible, so furthest row of thumb keys are easier to reach.
  • Lower key travel to make it feel more like a laptop keyboard, just because that's what the current generation are used to.
  • Bluetooth wireless if you can get decent battery life.
  • Kinesis keyboards are loud. O-rings help, but perhaps the inside should be filled with foam or something.
  • Minimize changes to key layout, so existing users can adapt to the new keyboard quickly.


Shhhh ... don't say things like shorter travel.  Management pick up on those things and they may toy with the idea of cutting costs further by switching to ML switches or something.  There is a linear red (not my thing) option for those so inclined.

We won't be going away from Cherry keyswitches.

Quote
I would love to see one of the older Kinesis to see how the build quality has changed.  The keycaps that came with mine truly and truly suck and the whole package generally feels 'cheap'.  Which having spent a fortune out of pocket I must say I expected something better.  Little things, like those odious shiny steel pozidrives which could easily be replaced by pleasant anodised black hex sockets.

The only thing that hasn't improved over the years are the keycaps. We used to use double-shot caps made by Signature plastic. Back when the keyboard was $700 or so in the early-mid 90's. In order to get the keyboard more affordable one of the changes were the keycaps.  Double shot keycaps are nice but typically a lot more expensive. If we can find an affordable manufacturer of double shot keycaps, we'll use them. If not, the current keycaps are not bad as they are pretty standard ABS keycaps. Some people can wear them faster over time than others but we always send replacement keycaps directly to customers  if they contact us.


« Last Edit: Thu, 05 December 2013, 18:26:01 by natas206 »

Offline pepstein

  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Bay Area, California
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #93 on: Fri, 06 December 2013, 00:23:15 »
My first couple Kinesis boards were Essential MPC models with QWERTY doubleshots, but no support for Dvorak. I ordered dual legend caps for them, which were also doubleshots, and cost $50 if I recall. The Dvorak legend was clearly added on, but I've had no trouble with them wearing off, and I've been using these keycaps for about 20 years now. I tweaked the OS Dvorak support to make it work with the slightly different Kinesis Dvorak layout, but this got old pretty quickly, as I had to do it for MacOS and various flavors of Windows. Eventually I ordered a QD model for proper Dvorak support. When USB came along, I quickly tired of messing with PS2 to USB adapters, all of which had annoying flaws, so I bought an Advantage model.

The doubleshot caps are quite nice. They have a smooth finish, and their skirts (sides) are shorter and angled out more. They're white, except for the 8 home keys which are blue and have a rounded top. The round part is larger than the newer keycaps. The best way I can describe them is that make the keyboard more touchable. However, they do look old fashioned, both because all modern keyboards seem to use a steeper skirt profile, and because the keys are white rather than black. The doubleshots also fit the stems more loosely. Occasionally one will pop right off. Unlike the modern keycaps, the doubleshots have no reinforcements connecting the stem to the edges. I think that explains why many of them aren't compatible with O-rings.

All the newer keycaps have the same shape as modern keycaps like those from WASD keyboards, but there are some differences between vintages. The 8 home keys on one of my Advantage keyboards have a thick coating over both the QWERTY and Dvorak legends. I don't like the way these feel. Older keycaps have the same tall shape as the Advantage caps, but have a thinner coating protecting the lettering, and the coating is only on the QWERTY lettering, not the Dvorak, which appears to be done in the same way as it was on the old Doubleshot caps. I've had only one keycap fail, and it's just a cracked side that doesn't do any real harm. I've seen a tiny bit of legend wear on one shift key, but that's all.

It's been over 4 years since my last Kinesis keyboard purchase, so the keycaps may no longer be made by the same vendor. I think it'd be nice if it were possible to order higher quality caps from Kinesis, but I appreciate that you probably have to buy them in bulk, making that impractical. I think there is some room for improvement at a reasonable price point, because WASD keyboards sells a set of 87 decent quality keycaps for around 50 bucks. I suggest focusing on the quality of the 8 home keycaps, since they have more impact on the user experience than the other keys, and on the legends, making sure that they're durable but don't have such a thick coating that it affects key feel.

I recently added 0.4mm O-rings to my boards and filled much of the insides with soft foam. Together these changes made the keyboards feel and sound more polished. I agree that Kinesis keyboards don't look or sound as expensive as they are, especially now that mechanical keyboards have become a bit more mainstream. But ultimately I know what's important is that they have excellent ergonomics, and they're durable. I'm very happy that Kinesis has survived all these years.

Offline yasuo

  • Posts: 975
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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #94 on: Fri, 06 December 2013, 01:22:45 »
Function keys with MX
Logitech MK220 Colemak DH
SplitSyml by Moz BlacksMx fuk blacks

2/3 8.5pm                                          in de la my september month ya da all get my fukka "fake message"

Offline synerr

  • Posts: 95
  • Location: London
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #95 on: Fri, 06 December 2013, 02:29:03 »

We won't be going away from Cherry keyswitches.
.
.
.
The only thing that hasn't improved over the years are the keycaps. We used to use double-shot caps made by Signature plastic. Back when the keyboard was $700 or so in the early-mid 90's. In order to get the keyboard more affordable one of the changes were the keycaps.  Double shot keycaps are nice but typically a lot more expensive. If we can find an affordable manufacturer of double shot keycaps, we'll use them. If not, the current keycaps are not bad as they are pretty standard ABS keycaps. Some people can wear them faster over time than others but we always send replacement keycaps directly to customers  if they contact us.

I cannot get my head around how a commercially produced product cannot source/stock/mold inhouse a better set of keycaps, even if at an upgrade ...

... but anyways ... any chance of getting a sneak preview of the next iteration?  I think you said earlier that the Contoured is due for a refresh.  Need to decide whether I am going to budget for the upgrade and pawn my current one on ebay or mod my current one to my specifications.
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Offline natas206

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Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #96 on: Fri, 06 December 2013, 12:31:44 »

We won't be going away from Cherry keyswitches.
.
.
.
The only thing that hasn't improved over the years are the keycaps. We used to use double-shot caps made by Signature plastic. Back when the keyboard was $700 or so in the early-mid 90's. In order to get the keyboard more affordable one of the changes were the keycaps.  Double shot keycaps are nice but typically a lot more expensive. If we can find an affordable manufacturer of double shot keycaps, we'll use them. If not, the current keycaps are not bad as they are pretty standard ABS keycaps. Some people can wear them faster over time than others but we always send replacement keycaps directly to customers  if they contact us.

I cannot get my head around how a commercially produced product cannot source/stock/mold inhouse a better set of keycaps, even if at an upgrade ...

It's about finding quality keycaps at an affordable price. Remember one would have to buy in bulk and our keyboards have 10 different size keycaps, which some factories simply cannot do or the tooling cost too much. If our keyboard had one standard size key, it would be a lot easier. Also we are a very small company, about 12 employees, we do not have the resources to manufacturer our own keycaps.

Quote
... but anyways ... any chance of getting a sneak preview of the next iteration? 

Soon!

Offline bester42

  • Posts: 1
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #97 on: Fri, 06 December 2013, 13:55:21 »
The most needed function in my case is remapping (nearly everythink).
In Germany there is NEO2 as optimized for german text, programming and scientific use (greek characters). It uses 6 layers; if you want switching back to qwertz (for other persons using the computer) you will be up to 9 layers...

This problem would of course be solved by nkro (or 10kro) an ps2-connector (or adapter to ps2), as there is the famous soarer-converter, which can remap any key. It also supports extra keys. So remaping the modifiers would not be any problem.

So nkro/10kro would solve many other suggestions.

Keycaps:
I do not understand, why there are 5 differnt row-types. Its seems to be relict from standard cherry boards. Cherry made flat boards, so the keycaps from row to row got higher. If you take a look at IBM Model M, it is possible to du the same effect by a curved board and all keycaps are the same high - and therefore interchangeable.
As kinesis already have a curved bord, why isn't it curved as mutch to allow all keycaps to be the same (exept the 2x1 of course)?
It would solve many questions about other layouts (like colemark).
Also it would make relegendable keycaps (Tipro or Cherry) possible, which would solve even the most exotic whiches (like mine for neo2...)
Keycaps relegandable and transparent (even the boddy-part) and RGB-backlight would of course have the most use - if you print the legend in 3 colors on black plasicfoil, you can get enlightend every layer-legend one by a time, depending of the choosen layer (have to get the information of modifier status of course)

Offline synerr

  • Posts: 95
  • Location: London
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #98 on: Fri, 06 December 2013, 18:06:11 »

Quote
... but anyways ... any chance of getting a sneak preview of the next iteration? 

Soon!

Will we get a geekhack discount? :cool:
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Offline sordna

  • Posts: 2239
Re: Suggestions for Advantage keyboard
« Reply #99 on: Sat, 07 December 2013, 12:32:44 »
our keyboards have 10 different size keycaps, which some factories simply cannot do or the tooling cost too much

Honestly, you don't need so many different types. The keywells provide enough curvature, too much curvature for my taste, and it's partly because the different keycaps increase the curvature even more.

Having the ergodox experience, which is completely flat and still works great, I think the ideal curvature would be something in between the ergodox and the Kinesis. That would be the sweet spot. The Kinesis bowls are so pronounced that make your fingers literally poke forward to type the number row, or curl like pulling a trigger for the arrow keys.
I hope you can address this in the new design. Reduced bowl effect will allow for a lower keyboard height, and/or allow increasing the tenting angle, which is too minimal in my opinion.
Kinesis Contoured Advantage LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Contoured Model 110, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, KBC Poker (Cherry MX Red), IBM Space Saving keyboard (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard