Author Topic: 4th generation ergonomic layout  (Read 4610 times)

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Offline Yotaka

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4th generation ergonomic layout
« on: Tue, 03 January 2017, 20:11:32 »

I m currently working on my own custom layout with one of my friend, planning to make an ergonomic design, my original plan as the following picture. Optimization is still ongoing.  :))


156743-0


We moved the enter and backspace keys to the middle, ctrl and shift besides the spacebar, make better use of my thumbs. What we wanna present in this keyboard is that we have naturally put our hands on the keyboard without any twist. Still working out on the custom board. Any suggestions on keyboard switch?   :thumb:

Offline mushmouth

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 04 January 2017, 03:55:56 »
Looks really cool. would love to give it a shot when in production.

Offline AMongoose

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 04 January 2017, 04:12:14 »
Very cool design, pretty small footprint.
A few questions about the design choices if you would allow them.

Why did you choose the position of the backspace and enter?
How did you choose the size for the finger separation?
Have you thought about a split spacebar?

And for switch, gateron red is lovely if you want something linear.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 04 January 2017, 04:16:18 »
Looks really cool. would love to give it a shot when in production.

Thank you, we are currently in the period of final optimization.
Our ultimate product are coming soon. But we have some samples that are waiting to be polished.

Offline Ari Gold

  • Posts: 16
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 04 January 2017, 04:19:15 »
I would split the spacebar, make them 2u both?
Also have you considered moving the middle finger rows up? Similar to atreus/ergodox?

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 04 January 2017, 04:36:14 »
Very cool design, pretty small footprint.
A few questions about the design choices if you would allow them.

Why did you choose the position of the backspace and enter?
How did you choose the size for the finger separation?
Have you thought about a split spacebar?

And for switch, gateron red is lovely if you want something linear.

Hello AMongoose, Thank you for spend time thinking of its layout and ask these questions:
1.The reason we have backspace and enter in the center is that the neutral angle of the wrist increases, able to decrease body pressures of using it as you lower your elbows. It s easy to understand that in this position, you can reach backspace and enter without moving your hand position, instead of what we did in the standard keyboard.

2.When come to the finger separation, the space between each finger is base on the natural position of our hand when we are totally relax, as well as the curve. You can see why in this picture.
* shou?.jpg (124.1 kB. 832x1078 - viewed 54 times.)

3.For spacebar, we don't think it need to be splited.
There are three axises in our current big spacebar, you can freely type the spacebar in left thumb or right thumb.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 04 January 2017, 04:45:34 »
I would split the spacebar, make them 2u both?
Also have you considered moving the middle finger rows up? Similar to atreus/ergodox?

Thank you for your questions.

For spacebar, we don't think it need to be splited.
There are three axises in our current big spacebar, you can freely type the spacebar in left thumb or right thumb.

And for the middle fingers and the hand position experience. We are doing some optimization right now, but other finger will be adjusted instead of middle finger, in order to enhance the typing experience, and for the perspective of releasing the pressure of our wrist.

Offline dusan

  • Posts: 61
  • Location: HCMC, Vietnam
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 04 January 2017, 07:27:40 »
I don't think it's a good idea putting Backspace under index finger. From the TypeMatrix 2030, which follows the approach, my index finger became overloaded. (And I would consider myself a good typist who don't use Backspace very frequently.)
CM Storm QF Stealth w/green | Razer BW Tournament w/green | TypeMatrix 2030.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 04 January 2017, 21:51:56 »
I don't think it's a good idea putting Backspace under index finger. From the TypeMatrix 2030, which follows the approach, my index finger became overloaded. (And I would consider myself a good typist who don't use Backspace very frequently.)

Thank you for your suggestion, dusan.

Yes, for TypeMatrix 2030 it will be overloaded our index finger because beside Enter, backspace also is one of the button that most people frequently use.
For our keyboard,also need to use index finger for enter and backspace. But actually it s a bit different from TypeMatrix 2030, because our middle Enter and backspace button are kinda lower, also base on the curve and angle, it s easier and less distance that our index finger need to move to reach these two button.
 

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 05:52:54 »

This is our sample for now, it is still on its way to final optimization.
Ultimate design is coming soon.

Looking forward to hear advice from you, on the layout or overall design of this keyboard.

Thank You

156843-0


Offline AMongoose

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 08:07:29 »
The "=", "]" and "\" keys are further away from the pinky than in a standard keyboard.

It looks good otherwise, just not if you write a lot of code.

Online MajorKoos

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 08:44:17 »
The 1u modifiers pain me.
Try typing on a Planck and you'll see what I mean.

Offline vvp

  • Posts: 643
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 13:33:54 »
1U shifts are not a problem - they are near to the home position.
The rest of the modifiers in the bottom row may be a problem.
For me to buy this I would require at least:
  • split space bar
  • space bar should not extend below B and N keys; instead the nearby keys (control/shift) should be moved by 1U nearer to the center a shortened by ŻU
  • then the rest of the bottom row 1U modifiers can all be increased to 1.5U (that should be enough)
Though I doubt I would go back from contoured keyboards to this one anyway.

Offline menuhin

  • Posts: 662
  • Location: Germany
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 14:08:43 »
+ 1 for split space bar
Or have the current space bar divided into 3 parts: 2 x 1u one below B & one below N, and then the smaller space bar in the middle.

I would include the board only until the right Ctrl column and move the non-repeated keys to the space in the middle. Also 1 row can be added between the number row and the F-key row.
Wishlist: 1) hotswap boards for MX and for Alps; 2) Alps64; 3) Universal Teensy convertor; 3) Planck & Quack & Split Planck; 4) TX & VE.A; 5) Ergodox
More
Wishful-list: 1) HASU BT battery lasts a year; 2) ABS Shine-proof/PBT DoubleShot spherical; 3) We order from keyboard-layout-editor.com; 4) Endgame
IBM M13 black
IBM SpaceSaver II
IBM KPD8923 Trackpoint
Choc mini Gateron black
PLUM 84 'Topre-clone' 55g Korean dome
HHKB Pro 2 stock
[typing slowly at ~80WPM, in love with Emacs, and growing in Lisp]

Offline Ari Gold

  • Posts: 16
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 15:24:37 »
Again I agree with the split spacebar requests :)
Also I would like only stock layout keys (2*2u for spacebar/other thumb, and smaller keys in middle)

Perhaps also a 60% version? No function row/arrow cluster etc?

Looks really gold So far though!

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 21:16:18 »
The "=", "]" and "\" keys are further away from the pinky than in a standard keyboard.

It looks good otherwise, just not if you write a lot of code.

Hello AMongoose

For "=", "]" and "\" key, from absolute distance it s a bit more far compare to standard keyboard.
But if you consider the natural curve of this keyboard base our hands relaxing statue most time, it s
more comfortable to move a bit more far but in a comfortable angle, than a bit closer but absolute flat move,
which against Ergonomic and our hands' natural space and size differences between each finger.

156917-0





Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 21:33:23 »
+ 1 for split space bar
Or have the current space bar divided into 3 parts: 2 x 1u one below B & one below N, and then the smaller space bar in the middle.

I would include the board only until the right Ctrl column and move the non-repeated keys to the space in the middle. Also 1 row can be added between the number row and the F-key row.


Hello menuhin

For the space bar,  2 x 1u one below B & one below N might be a good idea because it makes our thumb closer to the spacebars, instead of moving our thumb to the center to reach it, and non-repeated key in the middle.

But one row to be added between number row and F-key is against what its design principal, our hand need to move to reach that row.
Beside F-key row, rest of the keys use frequency are higher than F-key.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 21:46:17 »
Wow. That was fast.

I was working on a design based on a somewhat similar idea when you first posted your sketch and I have only had time to do a few tweaks. Still not even halfway done.
« Last Edit: Fri, 06 January 2017, 00:02:47 by Findecanor »
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 05 January 2017, 22:30:58 »
Wow. That was fast.

I was working on a design based on a somewhat similar idea when you first posted your sketch and I am still not even halfway done.

Hello Findecanor

No really, if you look at my first post, it said our original design as following picture. That's was our scratch design.
The latest picture I just post, this sample, that 's where we are now. But we are still doing some optimizations.
And main layout already have patent.


Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 03:46:31 »

Hello everyone

In our twitter page, you can see our design principal, why is our layout like this, and how these total 4 generations of ergonomics keyboards'
evolve process.
 

https://twitter.com/X1Bows

Offline menuhin

  • Posts: 662
  • Location: Germany
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 06:30:00 »

+ 1 for split space bar
Or have the current space bar divided into 3 parts: 2 x 1u one below B & one below N, and then the smaller space bar in the middle.

I would include the board only until the right Ctrl column and move the non-repeated keys to the space in the middle. Also 1 row can be added between the number row and the F-key row.


Hello menuhin

For the space bar,  2 x 1u one below B & one below N might be a good idea because it makes our thumb closer to the spacebars, instead of moving our thumb to the center to reach it, and non-repeated key in the middle.

But one row to be added between number row and F-key is[/spoiler]... against what its design principal, our hand need to move to reach that row.
Beside F-key row, rest of the keys use frequency are higher than F-key.

Are you here just to market your product or really want to listen to the opinions of GH members who care to leave some comment?  :p

I have to be frank, it may sound not so pleasant, but it is perhaps a piece of more valuable advice for you.
Your words contradict yourself in your design just to defend what you want or not want to make for whatever real reasons (fear of not appealing to the "majority" or whatever) but not really for a design principle. I see no consistent design principle in your current design, not at all:
If you bother about user's hands not moving, then why bother to have a separate traditional nav cluster on the right? Why bother to have a separate F-key row? Or even the number row where fingers need to reach further?

Of course you can sell a keyboard like this cheap to some people in the vast mainland China market, no problem for that. But to sell it in the international keyboard enthusiast market in a premium price as "an ergonomic keyboard", there are quite a few competitors for you. These competitors mostly started as hobby projects with a perfectionist mindset, and have spent years improving their designs.

Mechanical keyboard is a niche market, and ergonomic keyboard is a smaller niche market. So it is not easy to earn big for you.

The most direct competitor of this design as an orthholinear keyboard with arc-shape row arrangement is the Atreus keyboard. In my opinion, the Atreus beats this design in every single aspect. The added F-key row and nav Cluster make this design a Frankenstein - not an ergonomic design at all. Perhaps what he Atreus needs is more capital, access to milling and molding machineries, as it is just a small scale side project of the maker, not aiming to shoot for big profit.

As a keyboard this big, another competitor is the ErgoDox. This design looks like a joke in front of the ErgoDox. As an example of how people make money out of hobby projects, you can look at ErgoDox EZ. The creator of ErgoDox EZ is mostly a facilitator, but the tenting mechanism is well designed and can please most except a few ergonomic theorists here. Where is the tenting mechanism of your design by the way? Or even bother a molded curving case like those in Microsoft natural keyboard or the Maltron or Kinesis?

Do you notice all hardcore ergonomic keyboards out there have no backlighting? Perhaps except the Planck if you count it as one. Because those who care for ergonomic design mostly don't care for these flashy light show features.

I know your real principle is "something that sells reasonably well, and that can charge more outside mainland China". Not objection, that should be a goal for every businessman, not necessarily a goal for many hobbyists here - they put lots of money from their real jobs and other sources in their hobby projects.

Please listen for real. And please stop answering with fake reasons and "design principle" that doesn't hold for your design. Be open about the real reasons behind and your concerns, you may find some nice surprise.
e.g. You may even create a poll to see how many ergonomic keyboard users are here, and for those who use one do they prefer an F-key row or a separate nav cluster.
« Last Edit: Sat, 07 January 2017, 06:33:46 by menuhin »
Wishlist: 1) hotswap boards for MX and for Alps; 2) Alps64; 3) Universal Teensy convertor; 3) Planck & Quack & Split Planck; 4) TX & VE.A; 5) Ergodox
More
Wishful-list: 1) HASU BT battery lasts a year; 2) ABS Shine-proof/PBT DoubleShot spherical; 3) We order from keyboard-layout-editor.com; 4) Endgame
IBM M13 black
IBM SpaceSaver II
IBM KPD8923 Trackpoint
Choc mini Gateron black
PLUM 84 'Topre-clone' 55g Korean dome
HHKB Pro 2 stock
[typing slowly at ~80WPM, in love with Emacs, and growing in Lisp]

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 07:12:13 »


Are you here just to market your product or really want to listen to the opinions of GH members who care to leave some comment?  :p

I have to be frank, it may sound not so pleasant, but it is perhaps a piece of more valuable advice for you.
Your words contradict yourself in your design just to defend what you want or not want to make for whatever real reasons (fear of not appealing to the "majority" or whatever) but not really for a design principle. I see no consistent design principle in your current design, not at all:
If you bother about user's hands not moving, then why bother to have a separate traditional nav cluster on the right? Why bother to have a separate F-key row? Or even the number row where fingers need to reach further?

Of course you can sell a keyboard like this cheap to some people in the vast mainland China market, no problem for that. But to sell it in the international keyboard enthusiast market in a premium price as "an ergonomic keyboard", there are quite a few competitors for you. These competitors mostly started as hobby projects with a perfectionist mindset, and have spent years improving their designs.

Mechanical keyboard is a niche market, and ergonomic keyboard is a smaller niche market. So it is not easy to earn big for you.

The most direct competitor of this design as an orthholinear keyboard with arc-shape row arrangement is the Atreus keyboard. In my opinion, the Atreus beats this design in every single aspect. The added F-key row and nav Cluster make this design a Frankenstein - not an ergonomic design at all. Perhaps what he Atreus needs is more capital, access to milling and molding machineries, as it is just a small scale side project of the maker, not aiming to shoot for big profit.

As a keyboard this big, another competitor is the ErgoDox. This design looks like a joke in front of the ErgoDox. As an example of how people make money out of hobby projects, you can look at ErgoDox EZ. The creator of ErgoDox EZ is mostly a facilitator, but the tenting mechanism is well designed and can please most except a few ergonomic theorists here. Where is the tenting mechanism of your design by the way? Or even bother a molded curving case like those in Microsoft natural keyboard or the Maltron or Kinesis?

Do you notice all hardcore ergonomic keyboards out there have no backlighting? Perhaps except the Planck if you count it as one. Because those who care for ergonomic design mostly don't care for these flashy light show features.

I know your real principle is "something that sells reasonably well, and that can charge more outside mainland China". Not objection, that should be a goal for every businessman, not necessarily a goal for many hobbyists here - they put lots of money from their real jobs and other sources in their hobby projects.

Please listen for real. And please stop answering with fake reasons and "design principle" that doesn't hold for your design. Be open about the real reasons behind and your concerns, you may find some nice surprise.
e.g. You may even create a poll to see how many ergonomic keyboard users are here, and for those who use one do they prefer an F-key row or a separate nav cluster.
[/quote]

Hello menuhin

First of all, thank you for your opinion on split the spacebar and put some functions button in the middle. We will bring it in our optimization.

Don't get me wrong for the row below F-keys, as I said, we are still doing lots of optimization.
The reason I said it against our design is that, we plan to put the media keys combine the F-keys, simplify it instead of making it complicated.
Again, your opinions is valuable, I know that media keys in important for a keyboard. Our current design is base on lots of tests and surveys,
most people prefer to simplified the buttons that they don't use that frequently. But we will reconsider all of your opinions and bring it to our optimization. Thank you, and we can send you one once we have finished samples, if you like to give this a try.

Looking forward some other valuable opinions from you.

Offline Yotaka

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 43
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 07:33:44 »

Are you here just to market your product or really want to listen to the opinions of GH members who care to leave some comment?  :p

I have to be frank, it may sound not so pleasant, but it is perhaps a piece of more valuable advice for you.
Your words contradict yourself in your design just to defend what you want or not want to make for whatever real reasons (fear of not appealing to the "majority" or whatever) but not really for a design principle. I see no consistent design principle in your current design, not at all:
If you bother about user's hands not moving, then why bother to have a separate traditional nav cluster on the right? Why bother to have a separate F-key row? Or even the number row where fingers need to reach further?

Of course you can sell a keyboard like this cheap to some people in the vast mainland China market, no problem for that. But to sell it in the international keyboard enthusiast market in a premium price as "an ergonomic keyboard", there are quite a few competitors for you. These competitors mostly started as hobby projects with a perfectionist mindset, and have spent years improving their designs.

Mechanical keyboard is a niche market, and ergonomic keyboard is a smaller niche market. So it is not easy to earn big for you.

The most direct competitor of this design as an orthholinear keyboard with arc-shape row arrangement is the Atreus keyboard. In my opinion, the Atreus beats this design in every single aspect. The added F-key row and nav Cluster make this design a Frankenstein - not an ergonomic design at all. Perhaps what he Atreus needs is more capital, access to milling and molding machineries, as it is just a small scale side project of the maker, not aiming to shoot for big profit.

As a keyboard this big, another competitor is the ErgoDox. This design looks like a joke in front of the ErgoDox. As an example of how people make money out of hobby projects, you can look at ErgoDox EZ. The creator of ErgoDox EZ is mostly a facilitator, but the tenting mechanism is well designed and can please most except a few ergonomic theorists here. Where is the tenting mechanism of your design by the way? Or even bother a molded curving case like those in Microsoft natural keyboard or the Maltron or Kinesis?

Do you notice all hardcore ergonomic keyboards out there have no backlighting? Perhaps except the Planck if you count it as one. Because those who care for ergonomic design mostly don't care for these flashy light show features.

I know your real principle is "something that sells reasonably well, and that can charge more outside mainland China". Not objection, that should be a goal for every businessman, not necessarily a goal for many hobbyists here - they put lots of money from their real jobs and other sources in their hobby projects.

Please listen for real. And please stop answering with fake reasons and "design principle" that doesn't hold for your design. Be open about the real reasons behind and your concerns, you may find some nice surprise.
e.g. You may even create a poll to see how many ergonomic keyboard users are here, and for those who use one do they prefer an F-key row or a separate nav cluster.
[/quote]

You are right, we can't deny that profit is the reason that keep every businessman moving on. Is one of the things they going for, but not the only things we doing this for. We want to bring the best we can provide before its sales in the market, instead just put it out there and make money soon. That s why we go every where to listen people in this field and hobby for long long times, we talk to them, and try to make our product better. It s been years from the idea and making it, patent, everything.

I can see you really take this seriously, appreciate for this attitude you bring it up.

Offline vvp

  • Posts: 643
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 17:52:39 »
We want to bring the best we can provide before its sales in the market, instead just put it out there and make money soon.
Man, if you want something ergonomic then you cannot waste space with big-ass space bar at the place where thumbs can most easily hit keys. This is probably the biggest problem with traditional keyboards. They waste the most precious keyboard location with a big-ass space bar. The most precious places are the home keys for each finger and the places just below the thumbs. There should be at least 3 easily reachable keys for each thumb. If you want to achieve that then you cannot have one big space bar. There should be small keys just below the thumbs and the more away from thumb natural position the bigger the bottom row keys should be. Because one needs to move whole hand to reach them and with the hand move the precision is going down. Of course, your design has it just the opposite ... what a nonsense. Why, because you want to appeal to the bigger market and make the keyboard still kind of acceptable for people who think they should have a keyboard which looks kind of like all the rest of the keyboards. And hopefully these buyers can brag that paying more is justified since they bought an ergonomic keyboard. Instead they bought kind of a mishmash.

Firmware should support remapping and at least two layers (e.g. a layer shift (Fn) and layer lock keys are needed). This is so that people can remap navigation cluster into a layer just under the home row keys. The remapping is needed so that people can also place the keys they use most at the most comfortable positions. It would be great if you could support some open firmware ... or if you could the schematic so that people can port their own firmware to the keyboard.

But the problem is that you also want something to earn money with. That means closed design and design which will not be really ergonomic because you also want to appeal to main stream market which is scared of a big change. Despite the fact that main stream keyboards are horrible from the ergonomics point of view.

I also think that spread out columns are crap. They make the top far away keys even more away for a no good reason. Though I see you have quite an elaborate reasoning for them :) Column staggering would be much better. Which of course you cannot allow because that would scare the main stream users.

Anyway good luck with your mishmash. It still will be marginally better than standard keyboards so it is a move in a good direction. It will not be interesting to hard-core ergonomic guys. Which is not a big deal since we still have Kinessis Advantage and Ergodox.

Offline kurplop

  • THE HERO WE DON'T DESERVE
  • Posts: 853
  • "Losing the digital battle one digit at a time."
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 20:25:46 »
I think if we look at this board as a step toward better ergonomics that is not too much of a leap from conventional so as to make it palatable for the general market, we wouldn't be as critical. The split, though slight, helps, as does the smaller than stock space-bar. I think the spacebar's shape helps to keep the footprint tight and while it could be functionally improved, I think it's fine. If I would recommend one small change without altering the look, it would be to shrink the shift and control caps to 1.25-1.5 and, if necessary, slightly shrink the spacebar. This would give room for an additional switch on each side at a critical location. 

I question the spreading of the keys in the upper rows. I understand that it follows the natural extension of the fingers but at the cost of making the keys farther apart. For those occasional times the user has to leave home position, it will work against him. The look is reminiscent of the Truly Ergonomic board; a board which felt fine but I don't think they went far enough on the "toe-in". The absence of any tenting is excusable in the interest of minimizing volume but is almost essential in the fully ergo keyboard world.

I wish you the best in your endeavor and recommend you change your marketing to reflect that it isn't the ultimate or latest in ergo design, but an acceptable step up from a traditional board. 

Offline dusan

  • Posts: 61
  • Location: HCMC, Vietnam
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 07 January 2017, 20:48:07 »
Home and End are still missing. Insert and Delete are too far. The right-hand 2u key next to the Spacebar should be Shift instead of Ctrl -- must be renderer's mistake.
CM Storm QF Stealth w/green | Razer BW Tournament w/green | TypeMatrix 2030.

Offline Yotaka

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  • Posts: 43
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 08 January 2017, 20:43:40 »
We want to bring the best we can provide before its sales in the market, instead just put it out there and make money soon.
Man, if you want something ergonomic then you cannot waste space with big-ass space bar at the place where thumbs can most easily hit keys. This is probably the biggest problem with traditional keyboards. They waste the most precious keyboard location with a big-ass space bar. The most precious places are the home keys for each finger and the places just below the thumbs. There should be at least 3 easily reachable keys for each thumb. If you want to achieve that then you cannot have one big space bar. There should be small keys just below the thumbs and the more away from thumb natural position the bigger the bottom row keys should be. Because one needs to move whole hand to reach them and with the hand move the precision is going down. Of course, your design has it just the opposite ... what a nonsense. Why, because you want to appeal to the bigger market and make the keyboard still kind of acceptable for people who think they should have a keyboard which looks kind of like all the rest of the keyboards. And hopefully these buyers can brag that paying more is justified since they bought an ergonomic keyboard. Instead they bought kind of a mishmash.

Firmware should support remapping and at least two layers (e.g. a layer shift (Fn) and layer lock keys are needed). This is so that people can remap navigation cluster into a layer just under the home row keys. The remapping is needed so that people can also place the keys they use most at the most comfortable positions. It would be great if you could support some open firmware ... or if you could the schematic so that people can port their own firmware to the keyboard.

But the problem is that you also want something to earn money with. That means closed design and design which will not be really ergonomic because you also want to appeal to main stream market which is scared of a big change. Despite the fact that main stream keyboards are horrible from the ergonomics point of view.

I also think that spread out columns are crap. They make the top far away keys even more away for a no good reason. Though I see you have quite an elaborate reasoning for them :) Column staggering would be much better. Which of course you cannot allow because that would scare the main stream users.

Anyway good luck with your mishmash. It still will be marginally better than standard keyboards so it is a move in a good direction. It will not be interesting to hard-core ergonomic guys. Which is not a big deal since we still have Kinessis Advantage and Ergodox.

Yes indeed. We listened to many of the keyboard pros and fans, basically they all mentioned to split the spacebard.
We really thought about it and found it s ture that, this makes our thumb to press the spacebar(left and right) without moving at all, at the same time it release the center space for other critical buttons like ctrl and shift. Better use the central space.

We will renew our design picture soon. Thank you for you guys opinions.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 09 January 2017, 06:40:30 »

This is our updated design, looking forward for you guys' ideas.

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Online MajorKoos

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 09 January 2017, 07:28:58 »
I liked the previous spacebar you had more TBH.
Also, the bottom left CTRL definitely needs to be bigger, as does the win key.
Does the bottom row "have" to be aligned to the other rows?

Offline Niomosy

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 09 January 2017, 20:17:16 »
That \| key in comparison to the right-hand shift key really is well out of proportion.  I'd have to retrain myself on using the | key when running loads of UNIX commands to use the left Shift exclusively.  Right now, I'm using the right pinky to hit the Shift key while using the right ring finger to get the | symbol.

I also see a distinct lack of tenting.  The split might help a bit but without tenting it doesn't really come across as a 4th generation ergonomic layout.  Hell, the recent layout with those center keys can't even handle tenting unless there's a plan for special keycaps that can curve with the tenting similar to the Mircosoft Ergo boards and the curved spacebar.

As for the nav cluster and F row, they're fine for me.  Can't really understand the fuss there.  For those that want it on layer 1, it's there.  For those that want it on another layer, hopefully it's programmable and you can do that.  We both win.  I'm not a huge fan of multi-layer keyboards so a non-layer nav cluster is a necessity.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 09 January 2017, 21:08:42 »
That \| key in comparison to the right-hand shift key really is well out of proportion.  I'd have to retrain myself on using the | key when running loads of UNIX commands to use the left Shift exclusively.  Right now, I'm using the right pinky to hit the Shift key while using the right ring finger to get the | symbol.

I also see a distinct lack of tenting.  The split might help a bit but without tenting it doesn't really come across as a 4th generation ergonomic layout.  Hell, the recent layout with those center keys can't even handle tenting unless there's a plan for special keycaps that can curve with the tenting similar to the Mircosoft Ergo boards and the curved spacebar.

As for the nav cluster and F row, they're fine for me.  Can't really understand the fuss there.  For those that want it on layer 1, it's there.  For those that want it on another layer, hopefully it's programmable and you can do that.  We both win.  I'm not a huge fan of multi-layer keyboards so a non-layer nav cluster is a necessity.


For the |\ key, as you can see, the position of tail in this layout is actually higher than the standard keyboard. So actually it s a bit easier and closer to reach compare to standard keyboard.

The tenting that microsoft ergo made, it try to made Metacarpal and our finger point layer parallel,but  the angle between them is still there. And because of the tenting design, we need to kinda hold our hand, instead of putting flat and parallel to the desk, in a long run this will overloaded the thumb and upper wrist area. Our plan is maintain the flat design, no tenting, but we consider to make curves for the button which is far, like the |\ key you mentioned, to make it easier to reach.

Yes, for your question, F row and nav(media) row is programmable.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 11 January 2017, 20:32:52 »
Instruction of typing on X-Bows

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Online happylacquer

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #32 on: Wed, 11 January 2017, 23:50:36 »

This is our sample for now, it is still on its way to final optimization.
Ultimate design is coming soon.

Looking forward to hear advice from you, on the layout or overall design of this keyboard.

Thank You

(Attachment Link)

I would use this.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 12 January 2017, 03:38:00 »

This is our sample for now, it is still on its way to final optimization.
Ultimate design is coming soon.

Looking forward to hear advice from you, on the layout or overall design of this keyboard.

Thank You

(Attachment Link)

I would use this.

Sure, Thank you. When it s finished, we can send you one if you wanna give this a try.

Offline fatbuffalo

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 12 January 2017, 03:46:37 »
This definitely looks more comfortable than ergodox. Does anyone have problem switching from this/ergodox to normal layout keyboard? I imagine it's going to be difficult.

It maybe not be better. VE.A might be a better option imho. If you constantly have to switch between the normal and the ergonomic ones.  :rolleyes:

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 12 January 2017, 06:49:17 »
This definitely looks more comfortable than ergodox. Does anyone have problem switching from this/ergodox to normal layout keyboard? I imagine it's going to be difficult.

It maybe not be better. VE.A might be a better option imho. If you constantly have to switch between the normal and the ergonomic ones.  :rolleyes:

Thank you. We are so glad that you like this. For far,around 90% of samples that we sent out received, gave us positive reply,
after 5-8 days, they can adapt X-Bows and type faster, release wrist pressure as well.
 When it s finished, we can send you one if you wanna give this a try.

Offline vvp

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 12 January 2017, 08:00:04 »
This definitely looks more comfortable than ergodox. Does anyone have problem switching from this/ergodox to normal layout keyboard? I imagine it's going to be difficult.
Many people who did not try ergonomic keyboards imagine that. It is not true though. I switch often between standard keyboard and Kinesis Advantage without any problem. I cannot imagine how that could be a problem to switch between Ergodox and a standard keyboard.

But you are a perfect example of a dilemma Yotaka has. The standard keyboards are terribly unergonomic and people who did not try ergonomic keyboards are afraid to use anything significantly different from standard keyboards. They are afraid that switching between an ergonomic keyboard and a standard keyboard will be a problem :)

Therefore if Yotaka wants to sell a lot of keyboards then he must make it similar to standard keyboards ... in other words not really ergonomic.

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 12 January 2017, 20:19:20 »


That s true if people who get used to ergonomic keyboard, switching between standard and ergonomics keyboard is not a problem.

But for this keyboard, in the typing area(characters),we align rows to make it match our fingers' movement, radial shape of layout to follow our metacarpal, it s what we could do the best to be ergonomics. This is the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard.
But in the side functional keys, the reason we maintain the original position is that users can easier to get used to, but at the same time we did provide the faster way to type our functional key like middle enter and spacebar,backspace, shift and ctrl. If

Offline davkol

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 05:28:13 »
But for this keyboard, in the typing area(characters),we align rows to make it match our fingers' movement, radial shape of layout to follow our metacarpal, it s what we could do the best to be ergonomics. This is the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard.
[citation needed]

Offline menuhin

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 07:37:19 »
But for this keyboard, in the typing area(characters),we align rows to make it match our fingers' movement, radial shape of layout to follow our metacarpal, it s what we could do the best to be ergonomics. This is the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard.
[citation needed]

The problem of this thread are these big claims.
I am not sure if it is related to that the OP is not used to the English language and the proper wordings of what he actually means to say.
Kurplop's response above is right to the point and I want to be as understanding and as kind as him but I really don't want to imagine something half-assed will be mass produced especially when the manufacturers repeatedly make these big claims.

I actually took and later on TA-ed some courses at undergrad level in ergonomics and usability although not having published in the related CHI special interest groups. I can never say I know everything but I can definitely evaluate a design.
Making these unsupported claims, is it a trend among manufacturers in modern China? I am not sure if keyboard products in China can ever reach the average level of those produced in Korea.
Quote
... the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard ...
« Last Edit: Fri, 13 January 2017, 08:07:09 by menuhin »
Wishlist: 1) hotswap boards for MX and for Alps; 2) Alps64; 3) Universal Teensy convertor; 3) Planck & Quack & Split Planck; 4) TX & VE.A; 5) Ergodox
More
Wishful-list: 1) HASU BT battery lasts a year; 2) ABS Shine-proof/PBT DoubleShot spherical; 3) We order from keyboard-layout-editor.com; 4) Endgame
IBM M13 black
IBM SpaceSaver II
IBM KPD8923 Trackpoint
Choc mini Gateron black
PLUM 84 'Topre-clone' 55g Korean dome
HHKB Pro 2 stock
[typing slowly at ~80WPM, in love with Emacs, and growing in Lisp]

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 07:39:25 »
But for this keyboard, in the typing area(characters),we align rows to make it match our fingers' movement, radial shape of layout to follow our metacarpal, it s what we could do the best to be ergonomics. This is the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard.
[citation needed]

 Like the picture shows below, you can see the angle of our fingers stretch is based on the angle of metacarpal.
We are the first company who found this relationship between fingers and metacarpal and made the product based on this.
You can try to open your hands on your own from fist, you will find that in the process of opening your hand, and angle between each
fingers are getting bigger gradually.

If you would like the citation of what I said and about our design principal, what I mentioned above is to answer your question,
also it s the foundation of our layout design.

And we also design a small size version for children, this layout is easy for beginner to adapt, that is one of the reason we made this keyboard. We hope the beginner to easily get handy on typing.
157528-0

Offline Yotaka

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #41 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 08:01:42 »
But for this keyboard, in the typing area(characters),we align rows to make it match our fingers' movement, radial shape of layout to follow our metacarpal, it s what we could do the best to be ergonomics. This is the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard.
[citation needed]

The problem of this thread are these big claims.
I am not sure if it is related to that the OP is not used to the English language and the proper wordings of what he actually means to say.
Kurplop's response above is right to the point and I want to be as understanding and as kind as him but I really don't want to imagine something half-assed will be mass produced especially when the manufacturers repeatedly make these big claims.

I actually took and later on TA-ed some courses at undergrad level in ergonomics and usability although not having published in the related CHI special interest groups. I can never say I know everything but I can definitely evaluate a design.
Making these unsupported claims, is it a trend among manufacturers in modern China? I am not sure if keyboard products in China can ever reach average the level of those produced in Korea.
Quote
... the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard ...

This is not anything related to big claims. This is what we can see can feel in everyone's metacarpal.
The angle of our fingers stretch out is based on the angle of our metacarpal, this is just a simple fact, is not sth like big claim.
Our CEO is a doctor, and when he decide this made this keyboard, he spent more than one year to investigate ergonomics and tried to
find the most natural way of typing.
Hello menuhin, I respect your major and what you have been studied. But you shouldn't said sth like"Making these unsupported claims, is it a trend among manufacturers in modern China?". Also, we crews are international crews, members of our group come from 3 countries.

Offline davkol

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #42 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 08:08:00 »
* davkol cringes

Our CEO is a doctor, and when he decide this made this keyboard, he spent more than one year to investigate ergonomics and tried to
find the most natural way of typing.
This is a prime example of the fallacious argument from authority. That isn't how science works.

Offline Yotaka

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  • Posts: 43
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #43 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 08:12:24 »
But for this keyboard, in the typing area(characters),we align rows to make it match our fingers' movement, radial shape of layout to follow our metacarpal, it s what we could do the best to be ergonomics. This is the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard.
[citation needed]

The problem of this thread are these big claims.
I am not sure if it is related to that the OP is not used to the English language and the proper wordings of what he actually means to say.
Kurplop's response above is right to the point and I want to be as understanding and as kind as him but I really don't want to imagine something half-assed will be mass produced especially when the manufacturers repeatedly make these big claims.

I actually took and later on TA-ed some courses at undergrad level in ergonomics and usability although not having published in the related CHI special interest groups. I can never say I know everything but I can definitely evaluate a design.
Making these unsupported claims, is it a trend among manufacturers in modern China? I am not sure if keyboard products in China can ever reach the average level of those produced in Korea.
Quote
... the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard ...

This is when the hand is in relax statue. This picture will shows what I said above.
157530-0



Offline AMongoose

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #44 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 08:41:45 »
I don't doubt that having the keys aligned by the metacarpal angle is more confortable/ergonomic.

What I doubt is that being "the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard" versus for example wrist angle or hand height.

Offline vvp

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #45 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 08:51:29 »
Yotaka, I bet davkol meant a need for a pointer to a peer reviewed study by his asking for citations.

Although I personally can agree that a spread out columns may be marignally better reachable but it has a problem. It would help only if you have one column of keys per finger. But that is not the case. Pointing fingers and the pinkies have two columns each. Spreading the columns makes the outer top column keys even more far away. Those keys will require either hand movement or more extreme stretching of the fingers. People who will not learn habits of hand movement will stretch fingers more and it will be a pure negative for them because of the spread out columns.

When fingers are almost extended it is very easy to move them a bit to the sides. Especially true for pointing fingers and pinkies. This is not true when fingers are half bent. That is the reason why I think datahand keyboard sucks.

What some people may mind is that you seem extremely unbalanced in your reasoning. Rigorously defending spread columns (which is only a marginal change) with roentgen images but hardly considering other things like thumb buttons or column staggering (which actually make a big difference). And especially a fully split design so that people can adjust separation distance and tenting/tilting angles easily.

You may get a better response from people if you would post to Keyboard forum instead of Ergonomic forum. In the Keyboards forum the marginal ergonomic improvements you do will be probably accepted better and you may reach more audience there too.

Also I bet I have already seen a keyboard with stretch out columns few years ago. Not sure whether they were mass produced. So your company is not as unique in this feature as you might think.

Offline menuhin

  • Posts: 662
  • Location: Germany
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #46 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 08:52:35 »
But for this keyboard, in the typing area(characters),we align rows to make it match our fingers' movement, radial shape of layout to follow our metacarpal, it s what we could do the best to be ergonomics. This is the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard.
[citation needed]

The problem of this thread are these big claims.
I am not sure if it is related to that the OP is not used to the English language and the proper wordings of what he actually means to say.
Kurplop's response above is right to the point and I want to be as understanding and as kind as him but I really don't want to imagine something half-assed will be mass produced especially when the manufacturers repeatedly make these big claims.

I actually took and later on TA-ed some courses at undergrad level in ergonomics and usability although not having published in the related CHI special interest groups. I can never say I know everything but I can definitely evaluate a design.
Making these unsupported claims, is it a trend among manufacturers in modern China? I am not sure if keyboard products in China can ever reach average the level of those produced in Korea.
Quote
... the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard ...

This is not anything related to big claims. This is what we can see can feel in everyone's metacarpal.
The angle of our fingers stretch out is based on the angle of our metacarpal, this is just a simple fact, is not sth like big claim.
Our CEO is a doctor, and when he decide this made this keyboard, he spent more than one year to investigate ergonomics and tried to
find the most natural way of typing.
Hello menuhin, I respect your major and what you have been studied. But you shouldn't said sth like"Making these unsupported claims, is it a trend among manufacturers in modern China?". Also, we crews are international crews, members of our group come from 3 countries.

Okay, I shouldn't have said that "... Making these unsupported claims, is it a trend among manufacturers in modern China? ..."
Sorry if it hurts your bigger collective national ego.
I hope there are still a few makers in China who are really aiming at perfecting their design, but not aiming primarily at making money with half-assed junks, creating more pollution and making child labor problem even more serious in China.

The 'citation' davkol asked for and the missing supports that my term "unsupported claims" refers to are real scientific studies. Real good scientific studies have sound rationales, multiple versions of research design, and then eventually collecting data from subjects for statistical or some other analyses in order to support or reject a claim. It is not just like "... what we can see can feel in everyone ...", "... the citation ... what I mentioned above ..."

Physician is a respectable occupation, and there are tons of doctors in the world, in Europe and in the American countries, in Asia. But their job is different from being experts in ergonomics.
What I studied doesn't matter at all, I would say I know almost nothing compared to what can be discovered.
What I meant by saying that above is instead, please really try to be more professional, if you want to sound like so.
Please see it as an effort to help professional-wannabe Chinese to become more up to standard.

The shape of the lower anatomy of human hands is one thing, whether "spreading of the keys in the upper rows" according to the metacarpal angle in a keyboard is "the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard" is a doubtful statement is another question. And actually whether such a design will enhance usability is already something needs to be answered in the first place.

There are two links to see how to make more professional claims in ergonomics about a design.
More
« Last Edit: Fri, 13 January 2017, 10:43:11 by menuhin »
Wishlist: 1) hotswap boards for MX and for Alps; 2) Alps64; 3) Universal Teensy convertor; 3) Planck & Quack & Split Planck; 4) TX & VE.A; 5) Ergodox
More
Wishful-list: 1) HASU BT battery lasts a year; 2) ABS Shine-proof/PBT DoubleShot spherical; 3) We order from keyboard-layout-editor.com; 4) Endgame
IBM M13 black
IBM SpaceSaver II
IBM KPD8923 Trackpoint
Choc mini Gateron black
PLUM 84 'Topre-clone' 55g Korean dome
HHKB Pro 2 stock
[typing slowly at ~80WPM, in love with Emacs, and growing in Lisp]

Offline menuhin

  • Posts: 662
  • Location: Germany
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #47 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 09:17:54 »
More
But for this keyboard, in the typing area(characters),we align rows to make it match our fingers' movement, radial shape of layout to follow our metacarpal, it s what we could do the best to be ergonomics. This is the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard.
[citation needed]

The problem of this thread are these big claims.
I am not sure if it is related to that the OP is not used to the English language and the proper wordings of what he actually means to say.
Kurplop's response above is right to the point and I want to be as understanding and as kind as him but I really don't want to imagine something half-assed will be mass produced especially when the manufacturers repeatedly make these big claims.

I actually took and later on TA-ed some courses at undergrad level in ergonomics and usability although not having published in the related CHI special interest groups. I can never say I know everything but I can definitely evaluate a design.
Making these unsupported claims, is it a trend among manufacturers in modern China? I am not sure if keyboard products in China can ever reach the average level of those produced in Korea.
Quote
... the most important part as a ergonomics keyboard ...
This is when the hand is in relax statue. This picture will shows what I said above.
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ]

The natural angles of each finger in a relax hand posture may require a study on its own (but I bet some related studies have been done already). But even if someone has measured the angles of 1000 people to support a certain claim, one can still question what the demographics of the sample are, how the test obtained the sample, what the instructions are, whether the experimenters are double-blinded, etc. And whether the fingers spread in a natural posture following the angles of the lower half of the hand at the metacarpal, is another claim to be proven or disproved.

Just the post brought this up, and my thinking is there is a simple and obvious issue here about the claim of having metacarpal angle at the finger level. If you ask your friends to just put their hands on a table, palm facing down in a relaxed way, what is the hand posture you will observe? For me I can see the my fingers will be curved in an almost half cup shape. Choose one photo that fits what you've observed:
More
1.

2.


3.

« Last Edit: Fri, 13 January 2017, 09:36:33 by menuhin »
Wishlist: 1) hotswap boards for MX and for Alps; 2) Alps64; 3) Universal Teensy convertor; 3) Planck & Quack & Split Planck; 4) TX & VE.A; 5) Ergodox
More
Wishful-list: 1) HASU BT battery lasts a year; 2) ABS Shine-proof/PBT DoubleShot spherical; 3) We order from keyboard-layout-editor.com; 4) Endgame
IBM M13 black
IBM SpaceSaver II
IBM KPD8923 Trackpoint
Choc mini Gateron black
PLUM 84 'Topre-clone' 55g Korean dome
HHKB Pro 2 stock
[typing slowly at ~80WPM, in love with Emacs, and growing in Lisp]

Offline Ari Gold

  • Posts: 16
Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #48 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 09:23:55 »
All he poster was a single x-ray... How about interindividual and intraindividual differences? I highly doubt there is much actual research done.. (Coming from an intern in orthopedic surgery)

Offline kurplop

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Re: 4th generation ergonomic layout
« Reply #49 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 11:56:47 »
You've asked for advice but I think you were hoping for support and endorsement. Something the community would be happy to give if your project warranted it. You've heard our opinions, all of which offered constructive input. What you do with that is up to you.