About this project
The KeyMouse™ is a keyboard and a mouse. It allows users to operate the mouse without moving their hands out of typing position. No more moving your hand back and forth between the keyboard and mouse. It's designed for efficiency, comfort, and ergonomics.
NOTE: Most photos shown here are of our first prototype. We are working on a new prototype for the final product which has larger and easier to access keys, and more universal key layout (shown below).
The KeyMouse™ also allows you to keep your hands and arms at a more natural angle than a standard keyboard.
Keyboard enthusiasts love the Cherry MX mechanical key switches. So we're incorporating them in our next prototypes and in the final product.
Updated 3D Model Design
Number Shift: Holding down the Number Shift key allows you to quickly enter numbers using some of the keys on the right KeyMouse™. This eliminates the need to take your hand out of typing position to use the number pad. Using Num Lock has this same functionality. This is basically a temporary Num Lock.
Arrow Shift: Holding down the Arrow Shift key allows you to quickly arrow around using some of the main keys on the right KeyMouse™. This eliminates the need to take your hands out of typing position to use the arrow keys.
Arrows with Mouse: A handy feature for document and code editing. While you hold this key down, mouse motions will move the typing cursor instead of the mouse cursor. Great for navigating around quickly.
There are also many programmable thumb keys. These keys are pre-programmed with any useful functions, but can be re-programmed if you'd like. Pre-programmed functions include: multimedia keys (next track, previous track, play/pause, volume up, volume down), browser keys (next, back, new tab, close tab, switch tab), ok, cancel, maximize, minimize, close.
We've been working on the KeyMouse project for several years. Here are a few pictures that show some of the progress along the way.
The first few sets were created as one unit that was operated with both hands.
Then we decided to split it into two devices - one for each hand. A design expert drew up many different sketches with different concepts we could use.
We made several clay models to get the basic shape that fit the hand nicely. Next a 3D computer model was created. We used a 3D printer to print many different models to adjust the fit and feel of the devices.
KeyMouse In Action
3D Model Rotation
Mouse Freeze (can be a toggle or while held down)
- High Speed Bluetooth 3.0 for wireless. Additional USB interface also for lower latency and battery charging. You will have the option to use either interface. While USB is plugged in, battery charges.
- High Resolution Laser Mouse Sensor under both the left and right KeyMouse (either side can be disabled with a switch on the bottom of the device). Resolution up to 3,200 cpi.
- Mechanical key switches (Cherry MX brown). The prototypes shown have Cherry ML switches, but we are switching to Cherry MX switches for our next prototype based on user feedback.
- Backlit keys (primarily to be used when plugged in to USB).
- Diodes on every key (N-key rollover & Anti-Ghosting)
- Li-Ion Rechargeable batteries built in (Model 18500: 3.6v 1400 mAh) - charged by USB.
Edited: We removed AA batteries with 6 month battery life as an option since we now have USB to charge the battery.
- QWERTY keyboard including all function keys. We are planning to offer alternative key sets printed with DVORAK, international, or other common layouts based on user requests.
- Dimensions of one side of the prototype (left KeyMouse) are: 7.25" x 5.5" x 2.3" tall. We are working on an updated prototype, so this may change slightly. We want to keep it as compact as possible, but at the same time make it easy to type fluently.
- Weight for 1 side is 9.7 ounces. The actual finished product weight will be slightly different. We definitely want to keep it as light as possible. (In comparison, a Microsoft Intellimouse is 5.2 ounces.) I've been using the prototypes, and they are definitely easy to move. There are large teflon feet on the bottom to help it slide nicely.
- Operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux. Software has currently been developed for Windows. Mac and Linux software & drivers will be built, but may trail the Windows software. Basic keys and mouse feature on the device work with no drivers. The drivers/software is necessary for special keys (such as arrow shift, number shift, arrow with mouse, etc,) and programming. The device will be fully programmable using desktop software. The keyboard portion works on iOS (not fully tested). Keyboard and mouse portion works with some Android devices. Mobile devices and tablets is not officially supported, but basic functions seem to work fine paring by Bluetooth.
- January 2015: Collecting funds & feedback from Kickstarter backers
- February 2015: Finishing final prototypes
- March 2015: Begin creating molds for mass production
- July 2015: Pilot production run
- September 2015: Completion of first production run KeyMouses
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Risks and challenges
Every project has potential obstacles, especially in the manufacturing process. The whole design of this product has been custom engineered for the best user experience.
It's a challenge to create a key layout that is compact enough that it's elegant and easy to reach the keys, yet the keys need to be big enough that you can type comfortably. Using 3D printing and testing with many sizes of hands, we're working hard to find the perfect balance on this.
We have not fully tested this device on Mac. Our preliminary research indicates that it should work fine. But we still have yet to develop software and fully test with Mac. This is on our road map.
We have already overcome many challenges in making the prototypes. We are working with a world class design & engineering firm in California and some of the best manufacturers and suppliers in the industry, and we feel confident that we can overcome the challenges that may arise during the production of this great product. Some of the team worked with Steve Jobs on some of the early Apple computers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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