By Harry McCracken | Monday, October 19, 2009 at 3:54 am
A couple of months ago, I dug into Google Patents and found some weird, weird pointing device patents. The results became the most popular Technologizer slideshow to date. Where there are mice, there are almost always keyboards–so I recently checked Google Patents for peculiar keyboards, and found an embarrassment of riches.
Most alternative keyboards aim to do away with what I think of as POQ–Plain Old Qwerty, or a keyboard with a standard layout and typical keys. The filings are full of optimistic claims about the benefits to be derived, and the ease with which wildly new keyboards can be learned. But as far as I know, the majority of these designs never got off the drawing board. I wouldn’t trade the completely unmemorable keyboard that came with my HP desktop for any of them–but I’m glad they’re there in Google Patents for rediscovery. And here they are as a Technologizer slideshow.