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Multi-touch keyboards and mice are the next generation in quality computer peripherals.
Multi-touch keyboards and mice are the next generation in quality computer peripherals.
550 backers pledged $143,583 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

The First User Designed Skin!

The first skin design has been submitted. I would like to congratulate Carlos for making the very first customer designed keyboard layout. His design is included below. As a reward I will be including his layout in the box when he receives his Keyboard!

In fact, the first 10 people to send me their personally designed layout will all get their skins printed and added to their box at no charge and will still have access to make another skin with the voucher included in with each device!

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Tech Update

If you have been keeping up and reading the updates you know that we ended up changing to capacitive touch. Capacitive touch has come a long way in the last year. We have had more progress in the last few weeks than all the effort we put to the IR version since the beginning. I know you all are hating the extremely long wait and I am really sorry. There are so many unexpected hurdles but I think we are past that now.

Capacitive touch will make this product so much better, I am sure you will all agree when the product is in your hand that the wait was worth it. The way it works is that there are small conductive pads printed in an array, on a thin clear film. The film is laminated on the back of a layer of glass or plastic. In our case we will laminated it in between a piece of 3.2mm thick Sapphire glass and a protective backing part. The print on the sensor film is color matched to the glass so that it is completely clear and the traces that go to each touch area are only 30 microns or .03mm wide so they are nearly impossible to see. Each sensing pad is about 4mm square and can be interpolated into about 25 positions in either the X or the Y direction. This may all be a bit much to absorb but it basically means the number of touch points on the keyboard will be just under 94 million.

Both the keyboard and touch-pad will be much better looking. The camera bumps under the glass will disappear and the base will be completely smooth.

The base must be made from glass reinforced polycarbonate so that it does not interfere with the sensor signal. This will reduce the weight a lot. We wanted it to be heavy to add to the feeling of quality but it ended up being a lot heavier than we wanted.

The plastic part that covers the Bluetooth antenna will go away eliminating the seams and making the base look even better.

The rechargeable battery will last longer and the device will charge quicker.

The glass will be safer. We were using tempered glass which is really strong but it explodes when it breaks. The new glass will be laminated with a polyurethane membrane to contain it if you decide to use it as a baseball bat. I don’t recommend it… We don’t want any lawsuits!

The new assembly will also be fewer parts so it will be easier and quicker for us to assemble. Fewer parts equates to higher reliability and lower cost, which doesn’t do much for you but it helps us stay in business which I like very much!

Please take a look at our website, we are quite proud! If you go to http://www.translusense.com/media/ you will see a bunch of images. Just browse around… I think you will be impressed.
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Now taking reservations for Luminae Keyboards!

Many Kickstarters have asked how they can get additional Luminae keyboards. We will still be providing Kickstarter units before these ship, but we released 5,000 reserved Luminae keyboards starting last week. Go to http://www.translusense.com/reserve/ to reserve now!



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Pre-Beta is here!

6 Comments

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Time Flies

Per my promise, it is time for the two-week update. The last two weeks since CES have vanished! We are currently considering two companies for the new touch solutions that I mentioned in the last update, Atmel and Venntis. Both companies have great solutions and are currently having very good success with their implementation tests and both are aggressively competing for our business. Our win at Last Gadget Standing has really given us some purchasing leverage. Before that, one of our big challenges was to get vendors to take us seriously. They prefer to work with big companies like Lenovo and HTC… Little jab there for the losers of Last Gadget :). Now we are inundated with companies wanting to do business with us. It’s all very exciting.

Anyway, Atmel has a fairly standard capacitive touch sensor with a very robust set of support tools. Venntis is the new guy on the block but they have technology that will easily allow standard touch through 6mm of glass as well as the use of gloves on the touch surface which is very important to us, as many of the Kickstarters and others expressed huge interest for use of our product in the medical world.

So right now our PCB designers are extremely busy comparing these two options and the rest of us are using the time to make some needed improvements… The new sensor will allow us to drop the cameras which, in turn allows me to get rid of the ugly bumps on the base. The production glass looked OK but it was never perfect so I will be fine-tuning the quality to make sure it is top notch.

The software for creating the skins is still too rough around the edges to allow the general public to download but I think it is OK to show to the Kickstarters. I will send you a link within the next day or two so you can download it and test it out. We would like your feedback but please understand that this is PRE-Beta… I am aware there are many issues and all the features still do not work so don’t beat up on me too much. There is a screen shot below for anyone who just wants to take a quick look. If any of you create a skin that you are proud of please message me so I can take a look.

We have added all of the Kickstarters to our shipping list. As you know, you guys will get your first. Also, I have seen a lot of folks who moved. Rest assured, I will send out another survey just before we ship to make sure your addresses are all correct.

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