SOMATO: Feel your words
SOMATO is a keycap surface system that gives the keyboard tactile character recognition. The Result: Fewer errors and faster speeds
SOMATO: Feel your words
So why do we remember notes better when we write them by hand?
The answer: Tactile Character Recognition
SOMATO is a keycap surface system that is designed to be compatible with any tactile QWERTY keyboard. With no change of typing behavior, SOMATO provides the typist with the ability to tactically feel and cognitively recognize each individual key on every keystroke. The unique arrangement of bumps and ridges on each key cause the typist to "read" the letters he or she is touching using the function of discriminative touch which is provided by the body's somatosensory system. The result: More cognitively involved typing, fewer typing errors, and faster speed.
Effect on Education
SOMATO brings the benefits of handwriting to the required writing technique of the 21st century.
As computers are becoming standard in classrooms, students are becoming more dependent on typing as a means of written communication. The benefit of this is that students are learning a skill that is fundamental in the workplace due to its faster speeds, uniformity, and legibility. The downside of typing is that the quality of writing is worse due to less cognitive engagement and stimulation (as you saw in the video above). Even the color combination of blue font on yellow highlighting was chosen to contrast the letter from the keycap and to make the keyboard less intimidating for those learning to type.
The reason our efforts are focused on students is that writing with tactile character recognition not only stimulates the mind, but it also develops the brain. Our goal is to provide the opportunity for each school to have access to SOMATO. Since SOMATO can be applied to laptop keyboards, desktop keyboards, and tablet keyboards we are able to fit the keyboard needs of every school.
Not only is SOMATO's ability to provide tactile character recognition backed by science, it has been tested and proven in the classroom:
With the funds provided through this campaign we can begin to mass-produce plastic SOMATO keys and get keyboards with SOMATO into the hands of students across the United States.
SOMATO Pro: Better recognition for professionals
Due to discriminative touch being present in the somatosensory system regardless of age, we are confident that better tactile character recognition can benefit all typists. In addition to our Classic design for students, we are developing a Pro version that is geared towards adults in the workplace. Preliminary trials has been performed to determine the benefits of SOMATO on adult typists; however, due to promising initial data we are offering SOMATO Pro to those of you who want to be the first to use SOMATO on the job.
As entrepreneurs in college we are close to the product we created. The idea for SOMATO stemmed from us sitting in a class together and noticing everyone else taking notes on their laptops while we were writing notes by hand. After months of research and development we created a product we are proud to stand behind. Both of us have experience in startups and are aware of the challenges and obstacles that will come before us. With our great working relationship, knowledge through experience, and passion for our product we are determined to overcome any of those challenges and get SOMATO to the fingertips of each person who desires higher-quality typing.
Risks and challenges
The largest challenge we face is getting our product into the hands of students. We plan to overcome this challenge by manufacturing and then selling our product to local private schools first. This will show proof of sales. We can then take SOMATO to larger distributors of keyboards and distribute SOMATO through them or license our keycap system. This will save on manufacturing costs and allow our product to reach more students. We have built a network of experts who can help and advise us along every step of the way to ensure that all of our decisions will be informed and well-calculated.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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