Author Topic: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES  (Read 1370825 times)

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Offline Matias

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Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 11:43:37 »
Just announced...

http://matias.ca/ergopro

http://matias.ca/ergopro/pr

Let me know if there are any questions.  :-)

Offline daerid

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 12:11:22 »
These days I'm having a hard time calling anything that still uses a staggered layout "ergonomic". It's a good first attempt, but falls short due to the awkwardness of the staggered layout.

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Offline Binge

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 12:16:12 »
I was going to ask-  Was there a reason you chose staggered vs, a non-staggered layout?
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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 12:56:41 »
These days I'm having a hard time calling anything that still uses a staggered layout "ergonomic". It's a good first attempt, but falls short due to the awkwardness of the staggered layout.

I echo this sentiment.  But they are a business and they to have to sell to more than a niche market. 

My first impression, however, is that thing is kind of ugly with all the different button sizes.

 
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 13:49:59 »
In one of the pictures, it looks like there is a positive slope to the keyboard. Is that the case or is it just a wrong picture on the site? If it is that wouldn't be a dealbreaker since there are ways around it, but I think a 0 degree slope is something small that people could easily adapt to that would help them ergonomically.

Otherwise, this looks very interesting. I used to use a Kinesis Freestyle, but switched to a mechanical keyboard because I didn't like the rubber dome switches. I think I would have switched to this instead of a normal flat keyboard if it were available at the time. If my ergodox that I'm waiting on doesn't work out I think I'll order one of these.

For those asking about it being non-staggered, I think there are enough people who want or need a split keyboard, but don't want to learn a completely new physical layout. Not everybody wants to or can jump completely and some just want to take small steps ergonomically. If you depend on typing for your job like me then the low learning curve on something like this is great.

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 14:02:54 »
Couple more remarks/questions:

Can the left spacebar be reprogrammed for another key? Either natively or with something like Sharpkeys/Autohotkey
I think that is an interesting placement for right Ctrl.

Offline Matias

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 16:42:27 »
Thanks for the comments and questions...

As someone suggested, we went with staggered to ease the transition for people coming from a standard keyboard.

The flat angle is zero degrees.  It can be negatively tilted 4.5 degrees or centre tented 9 degrees.

The left spacebar is not programmable.


Offline h1ro

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 17:36:25 »
Is that regular USB you're using to connect the two halves?

Also, it would be fantastic if the shipping product could contain a Mac command key keycap to swap out for the Windows key!
« Last Edit: Wed, 08 January 2014, 17:41:20 by h1ro »

Offline Matias

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 17:46:46 »
Is that regular USB you're using to connect the two halves?

It's a stereo earbud extension cable.


Quote
Also, it would be fantastic if the shipping product could contain a Mac command key keycap to swap out for the Windows key!

It will have Mac modifiers, and may have Option symbols on the keys if we get enough interest.


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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 20:03:05 »
 I think that Matias has submitted a good entry into the ergonomic market. It may not go as far as some would like but it strikes a good balance between offering significant ergonomic improvement over a traditional keyboard while not scaring potential users away because of a radically different design. It looks like a relatively compact unit that has been well thought out and I hope that it will attract a large following.  :thumb:

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 20:35:24 »
- Note the position of the '6' Key. That is the correct hand according to most typing schools, but opposite of how MS, Goldtouch and Kinesis (Freestyle, Maxim) has it.
- Right Alt (Gr) is farther left than non-ergo users are used to, but in the same position as on the MS 4000.
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Offline Matias

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 20:54:24 »
- Note the position of the '6' Key. That is the correct hand according to most typing schools, but opposite of how MS, Goldtouch and Kinesis (Freestyle, Maxim) has it.

Yes, for users who touch-type, having the "6" in the correct position is important.  Other ergonomic keyboards consistantly get it wrong.


- Right Alt (Gr) is farther left than non-ergo users are used to, but in the same position as on the MS 4000.

We did quite a bit of user testing, and found that when you angle the keyboard to comfort, the expected relative positions change for various keys.  That explains the differences.


Offline TheSoulhunter

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 08 January 2014, 20:58:42 »
Nice!

Offline daerid

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 00:46:42 »
- Note the position of the '6' Key. That is the correct hand according to most typing schools, but opposite of how MS, Goldtouch and Kinesis (Freestyle, Maxim) has it.

Yes, for users who touch-type, having the "6" in the correct position is important.  Other ergonomic keyboards consistantly get it wrong.

Ugh... that's going to be a problem for a lot of people switching from say a Natural 4000 (also people like me, who hit 6 with the left hand, probably because I spent 7 years on MS Natural boards).


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Offline h1ro

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 05:20:19 »

Quote
Also, it would be fantastic if the shipping product could contain a Mac command key keycap to swap out for the Windows key!

It will have Mac modifiers, and may have Option symbols on the keys if we get enough interest.

Definitely interest here - fantastic to have another mechanical ergo keyboard coming to the market. My wrists thank you :)

Offline Gerk

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 13:01:19 »
While the right side might be the "correct" location for the 6 key having come from a long background of it being on the left side or staggered ergo boards this is a deal breaker for me :(  Also some sort of adjustable tent/angle is a must after having used Goldtouch V2's for a while now, I couldn't go back to anything less in terms of adjustability.  Being an RSI sufferer while it's nice to have angle and splay it's also incredibly important to be able to change them periodically, otherwise you get relief for a while, until you have repeated those motions at those angles enough times, then you're back at square one.  Negative tilt is overrated IMHO, it's more likely to cause you issues down the road as most people using this will not be in a proper hand/wrist position.

Great progress and I've loooooooong wanted a split tent/splay board with mechanical keys ... I don't think it's quite there yet for me.  I'll be watching and waiting for the v2 though ;)  Hopefully you'll take some of these suggestions into consideration for them. 

Congrats on the new board!
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Offline cgbuen

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 15:26:20 »
Cool! Are the smaller keys mechanical too?

And any chance of a Ctrl/Caps Lock swap?

Offline reziak

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 16:03:47 »
Nice work! Appreciate any and all attempts at trying something new. Is the spacebar split into two spacebars or space/backspace?

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Offline Polymer

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 16:53:08 »
Really great release!

I do think it is a bit odd that you went with the 6 on the right (both are actually "correct") siting correct touch typing but you left a left handed space bar that can't be used as something else :).

It is really hard to be everything for everyone but I think this is a great release overall...

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 18:28:35 »
Ugh... that's going to be a problem for a lot of people switching from say a Natural 4000 (also people like me, who hit 6 with the left hand, probably because I spent 7 years on MS Natural boards).
I think people will adapt. I think that people who were used to pressing the 'B' key with the right hand or 'Y' with the left hand adapted pretty quickly to using split layout.
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 January 2014, 18:30:07 by Findecanor »
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Offline Moe Bricks

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 19:46:33 »
What color are the keyswitches?

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 20:46:10 »
What color are the keyswitches?

They aren't Cherry MX. They're Matias Quiet Click switches which are Alps clones.

Offline cbf123

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 20:59:38 »
I'm definitely intrigued, but after a decade of MS Natural usage getting used to the "6" and F5 on the right may take a while. Also not sure about right CTRL.
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Offline wiz

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:41:09 »
I was going to ask-  Was there a reason you chose staggered vs, a non-staggered layout?

ALPS style keyboards use a huge filled resin casting for the lower part of the switches, so the entire keyboard layout is cast in one giant swoop. Gating those dies lets them cast the thing using existing hardware instead of spending $200,000 on new dies.

There is a trick that makes for a nice ergonomic keyboard using ALPS castings, and that's to gate for 4 rows 7 columns, plus the shift, windows, and space bar positions, then turn main sections sideways to get 7 row 4 column with function keys to one side and shift, ctrl, etc to the other. Those will become tab, enter, etc. like the areas left and right of letters on a TEK. The main areas of the keyboard get populated, top to bottom
7 - functions
6 - empty
5 - numbers
4-2 - letters
1 space, alt, up, down, left, right

I've done this by taking a saw to whole ALPS keyboards before, back in the TRS-80 days.

If Matias does this for the next rev, I expect it to be named after me.
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:52:34 by wiz »

Offline wiz

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 22:09:08 »
Yes, for users who touch-type, having the "6" in the correct position is important.  Other ergonomic keyboards consistantly get it wrong.
Some do. My favorites don't. My Truly Ergonomic Keyboards have 6 in the right cluster, as does the my Kinesis, and the TypeMatrix that's wandering around here somewhere. I think that's every ergonomic keyboard I have.

The two things that are dealbreakers for me are the oft-mentioned staggered layout and the ALPS style switches. The world outgrew those with the TRS-80 and the Apple II.

Offline daerid

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 23:20:57 »
The two things that are dealbreakers for me are the oft-mentioned staggered layout and the ALPS style switches. The world outgrew those with the TRS-80 and the Apple II.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with you there. Alps switches are some of the most pleasant I've ever typed on (and I've tried practically every switch).

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 23:39:33 »
The two things that are dealbreakers for me are the oft-mentioned staggered layout and the ALPS style switches. The world outgrew those with the TRS-80 and the Apple II.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with you there. Alps switches are some of the most pleasant I've ever typed on (and I've tried practically every switch).

switches make very little difference in the long run..

I just hope they'll change their mind on making it "fully " programmable...

Offline Moe Bricks

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 02:48:59 »
Well guys I'm seriously considering this keyboard right now, what are your guys thoughts on it as both a mechanical keyboard and ergonomic. How does it stand up to a Filco, now how does it stand up go an ergodox?

Offline Polymer

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 07:30:33 »
The two things that are dealbreakers for me are the oft-mentioned staggered layout and the ALPS style switches. The world outgrew those with the TRS-80 and the Apple II.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with you there. Alps switches are some of the most pleasant I've ever typed on (and I've tried practically every switch).

I agree..Alps switches are really nice.   The main downside to me used to be they weren't made all that well..but Matias looks like they've fixed the switch issue...

I think they also had some early issues w/ quality control w/ their boards w/ the silents switches..that seems to have been ironed out as well...

The Ergo Matias is a pretty attractive option for those that want a mechanical keyboard in an ergonomic form...they should be applauded. 

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #29 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 08:26:59 »
I am in Europe. Will there be an ISO version, and when can I get one?

now how does it stand up go an ergodox?
It is much easier to go from standard layout to this split standard layout, than from standard to a columnar layout such as the ErgoDox's.
With the ErgoDox, Kinesis etc. you have to touch-type correctly, with each finger in the correct column according to the school of touch typing.
With a somewhat standard layout, you can do like most people and wing it a bit.
I noticed when I got a Goldtouch that just having the keyboard split is a big improvement in itself.

* Matias wrote that the Ergo Pro is not programmable.
ErgoDox is programmable in that you can reflash the firmware with a firmware with your own custom layout. You can also have multiple layers. Getting special features such as half-keyboard, embedded numpad, VI cursor keys etc. is real easy in Massdrop's layout configuration editor.
No realtime remapping or macros like the Kinesis, though.
* ErgoDox has more thumb keys. Ergo Pro's left Space Bar can not be used for anything but Space (?).
* The Matias Quiet switches feel a bit different than any Cherry MX. Matias Quiet feel a bit more like rubber dome, but good rubber dome with a metallic tang to them ... Which is best is a question of personal taste, though.
« Last Edit: Fri, 10 January 2014, 08:37:02 by Findecanor »
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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #30 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 09:57:51 »
I am in Europe. Will there be an ISO version, and when can I get one?

now how does it stand up go an ergodox?
It is much easier to go from standard layout to this split standard layout, than from standard to a columnar layout such as the ErgoDox's.
With the ErgoDox, Kinesis etc. you have to touch-type correctly, with each finger in the correct column according to the school of touch typing.
With a somewhat standard layout, you can do like most people and wing it a bit.
I noticed when I got a Goldtouch that just having the keyboard split is a big improvement in itself.

* Matias wrote that the Ergo Pro is not programmable.
ErgoDox is programmable in that you can reflash the firmware with a firmware with your own custom layout. You can also have multiple layers. Getting special features such as half-keyboard, embedded numpad, VI cursor keys etc. is real easy in Massdrop's layout configuration editor.
No realtime remapping or macros like the Kinesis, though.
* ErgoDox has more thumb keys. Ergo Pro's left Space Bar can not be used for anything but Space (?).
* The Matias Quiet switches feel a bit different than any Cherry MX. Matias Quiet feel a bit more like rubber dome, but good rubber dome with a metallic tang to them ... Which is best is a question of personal taste, though.

wait wait...


is the Ergopro COMPLETELY non programmable? or jus the left space...

Offline daerid

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 11:58:01 »
With the ErgoDox, Kinesis etc. you have to touch-type correctly, with each finger in the correct column according to the school of touch typing.

This is not true, at least for the ErgoDox. All it takes is just a little bit of re-training your muscle memory. It only takes a few days, maybe a week at the most.

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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 12:13:17 »
is the Ergopro COMPLETELY non programmable? or jus the left space...
You're right. Matias said only that the left space bar was not programmable... but hey, why would Matias make the rest of the keyboard programmable but not the left space?

With the ErgoDox, Kinesis etc. you have to touch-type correctly, with each finger in the correct column according to the school of touch typing.

This is not true, at least for the ErgoDox. All it takes is just a little bit of re-training your muscle memory. It only takes a few days, maybe a week at the most.
That is my experience when switching to Kinesis Advantage. My ErgoDox is only half built. (If it didn't have flaws in the PCB, it would have been built a long time ago. Then problems with keycap order, and plate order, and finding components.. gah, my ErgoDox build is cursed >:D )
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Offline Moe Bricks

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 15:56:09 »
Will this keyboard suffice for gaming? Or is it mainly just for typing. Also do the keys have tactile feedback, or are they linear?

Offline cbf123

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 18:13:01 »
Will this keyboard suffice for gaming? Or is it mainly just for typing. Also do the keys have tactile feedback, or are they linear?

Gaming is very personal (layout, switch choice, etc.).  These do have tactile feedback--check out the Matias website.
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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 19:14:35 »
is the Ergopro COMPLETELY non programmable? or jus the left space...
You're right. Matias said only that the left space bar was not programmable... but hey, why would Matias make the rest of the keyboard programmable but not the left space?

With the ErgoDox, Kinesis etc. you have to touch-type correctly, with each finger in the correct column according to the school of touch typing.

This is not true, at least for the ErgoDox. All it takes is just a little bit of re-training your muscle memory. It only takes a few days, maybe a week at the most.
That is my experience when switching to Kinesis Advantage. My ErgoDox is only half built. (If it didn't have flaws in the PCB, it would have been built a long time ago. Then problems with keycap order, and plate order, and finding components.. gah, my ErgoDox build is cursed >:D )

lalalalalala.. I can't hear you...!!!!!!!!!

It's programmable, it has to be... why would anyone buy it if it's not programmable..

Offline Moe Bricks

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 19:42:45 »
is the Ergopro COMPLETELY non programmable? or jus the left space...
You're right. Matias said only that the left space bar was not programmable... but hey, why would Matias make the rest of the keyboard programmable but not the left space?

With the ErgoDox, Kinesis etc. you have to touch-type correctly, with each finger in the correct column according to the school of touch typing.

This is not true, at least for the ErgoDox. All it takes is just a little bit of re-training your muscle memory. It only takes a few days, maybe a week at the most.
That is my experience when switching to Kinesis Advantage. My ErgoDox is only half built. (If it didn't have flaws in the PCB, it would have been built a long time ago. Then problems with keycap order, and plate order, and finding components.. gah, my ErgoDox build is cursed >:D )

Show Image
lalalalalala.. I can't hear you...!!!!!!!!!

It's programmable, it has to be... why would anyone buy it if it's not programmable..

Where there's a will there's a way. I'm pretty sure every keyboard is programmable if you take the time to do a little hacking, tweaking and reverse engineering, that is if it's really that important to you. Unfortunately though time is money, and not everybody has the time to screw around with stuff like that.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 10 January 2014, 23:00:34 »
Maybe bpiphany will come out with a replacement controller for the Ergo Pro ... in two years or so.
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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #38 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 00:03:57 »
is the Ergopro COMPLETELY non programmable? or jus the left space...
You're right. Matias said only that the left space bar was not programmable... but hey, why would Matias make the rest of the keyboard programmable but not the left space?

With the ErgoDox, Kinesis etc. you have to touch-type correctly, with each finger in the correct column according to the school of touch typing.

This is not true, at least for the ErgoDox. All it takes is just a little bit of re-training your muscle memory. It only takes a few days, maybe a week at the most.
That is my experience when switching to Kinesis Advantage. My ErgoDox is only half built. (If it didn't have flaws in the PCB, it would have been built a long time ago. Then problems with keycap order, and plate order, and finding components.. gah, my ErgoDox build is cursed >:D )

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lalalalalala.. I can't hear you...!!!!!!!!!

It's programmable, it has to be... why would anyone buy it if it's not programmable..

Where there's a will there's a way. I'm pretty sure every keyboard is programmable if you take the time to do a little hacking, tweaking and reverse engineering, that is if it's really that important to you. Unfortunately though time is money, and not everybody has the time to screw around with stuff like that.

Where is Matias.... he needs to answer this definitively...

Offline Moe Bricks

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #39 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 00:36:41 »
I'm guessing he's busy running a business or taking a break from running a business :)), either way I'm sure he's bound to reply soon.

Offline tufty

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #40 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 09:05:00 »
I'm guessing he's busy running a business or taking a break from running a business :)), either way I'm sure he's bound to reply soon.
Given that it's the weekend, and currently only around 7AM where he is (if my calcs are correct), it's hardly surprising he's not glued to the screen right now.

What's needed here is not one of tp4's "cutesy" animated GIFs, but one of these ...


Online tp4tissue

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #41 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 21:19:02 »
Where is he !!!!!!!!!!!

it's the weekend... He could come in here.. and leave a 3 sentence message that would explain everything...


Offline Moe Bricks

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #42 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 21:25:33 »
Only nerds use the computer on weekends


Offline Moe Bricks

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #44 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 21:49:23 »
Based on my experience, yes, it is true.

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #45 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 23:39:33 »
I saw on Matias's twitter feed that the left spacebar is not programmable. I'm guessing that means the whole thing isn't programmable. Same thing with the freestyle. I think a dipswitch to change it to Ctrl or some other key would be cool, but not a deal breaker for me.

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #46 on: Sun, 12 January 2014, 02:12:36 »
I saw on Matias's twitter feed that the left spacebar is not programmable. I'm guessing that means the whole thing isn't programmable. Same thing with the freestyle. I think a dipswitch to change it to Ctrl or some other key would be cool, but not a deal breaker for me.

Let's hear from Matias before further speculation..

But if it is indeed true that the Board is not programmable.. Then it would be 1 step forward, 2 steps back.


Offline Findecanor

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #48 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 00:09:22 »
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What is that emoticon? A sperm burglar? :O
"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 SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: Matias Ergo Pro debuts at CES
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 00:59:25 »
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What is that emoticon? A sperm burglar? :O

That sounds like a complicated emotion.