Esports is the most extreme activity done with a keyboard. You need to do lightning fast repetitive movements for hours, non-stop, day in and day out. The traditional keyboard layout was designed over 30 years ago and it’s not optimized for gaming and these kinds of movements. Professionals and casual gamers are already suffering the consequences: frequent neck, back and wrist issues.
This raises a question: if young people are already experiencing health issues, what will it be like in 10 years? Gaming is part of our culture, esports is growing non stop and we can’t ignore it.
In gaming, 0.1s can be the difference between victory or defeat. To play at our best we need to be physically and mentally in top shape. That’s why we’ve created Raise, an ergonomic gaming keyboard designed to increase performance, health and comfort.
Split Ergonomic Design
A normal keyboard forces the wrists to bend towards the pinky side of our hand. Rotating Raise’s halves lets you keep your wrists at a neutral angle, decreasing pressure and strain over time. You can also adjust the width between the two halves, placing them in front of your shoulders to reduce internal shoulder rotation.
Fully customizable layouts
Its configuration software allows you to create different layouts and toggle instantly between them. Every key in every layout is remappable and can be configured as a macro.
Any key can have special behaviors if you tap once, several times or hold it. For example, you could configure the Shift key so it behaves this way:
- Hold it and press any other key = works as standard
- Shift key Tap it once = Escape
- Tap it twice successively = Caps Lock
Our software and firmware is open source. This means that anyone can make an improvement or program their own plugins and the whole community can benefit from it.
8 Thumb Keys
The giant space bar is one of the things that we’ve inherited from the typewriter that doesn’t make sense any more; we don’t have the technical limitations from 100 years ago. The thumb is the strongest and least used finger and it's dexterous enough to handle more than a big key.
We’ve divided the spacebar into 4 and added 4 extra keys under it. They are comfortable to use because they are in the area where our thumbs naturally rest.
We’ve called the extra 4 keys the Under-row. We’ve tested the location of the under-row keys with professional gamers, programmers, designers and they loved it. Even if you bottom out the spacebar keys you won’t accidentally hit the under-row keys.
If you want to use all 4 keys as a spacebar, no problem - our software allows you to rebind any key. You’ll be able to rebind as many keys as you need for the spacebar.
Gaming keypad experience
Raise is a gaming keyboard and a gaming keypad in the same device. Saves space on your desk, allows you to play more comfortably and can help you focus.
You can detach either side and play with the other. This way you’ll have more space for your mouse and be able to play more comfortably.
If you get frustrated with teammates or enemies and type, Raise can help you stay focused. Playing with only one side will hold you from typing and will help you play at your best.
Perfect for left handed gamers
The combination of nearly symmetrical and rebindable keys makes Raise perfect for left handed gamers.
Palmrest and pads
The palmrest elevates the wrist, increasing comfort and reducing the harmful angle created by the difference between the desk and keyboard height.
The palm pads are interchangeable. You can remove them and clean them.
Hot-swappable mechanical switches
Mechanical switches are a standard in gaming but there’s an issue: once you buy your keyboard you're stuck with them until you buy a new one. With Raise that’s not a problem any more. All our switches are hot-swappable, so you can easily pull them out and replace them with others whenever you want.
Raise comes with Cherry MX or Kailh switches. We’ll send you one of each kind so you can test them and find your favourite switch brand and type.
RGB Backlight and underglow
There’s a practical reason why Raise has RGB LEDs, to have visual feedback when you change layouts. In the vast majority of gaming keyboards RGB lighting is just for aesthetic purposes but during our testing we learnt that it reduced the user’s learning curve when getting used to multiple layouts.
With Raise, you can create multiple layouts and toggle instantly between them. Every key in every layout is remappable and can be configured as a macro with its own color.
An example of 2 layout configuration where you could benefit from RGB lighting:
- L1 (layout 1): standard typing layout.
- L2 (layout 2): Arrows, number pad, F1-12 keys, media controls
If you would like stronger visual feedback you could assign an underglow color to every layout you create.
True N-key rollover (NKRO)
For a variety of reasons, many USB keyboards limit you to pressing 6 keys (plus modifiers) at once. Most of us would never notice this limitation, but this is important for gaming.
If you need NKRO, we've got you covered. The NKRO-over-USB technique we're using works great on Windows, MacOS X and Linux without any special drivers.
We want all our users to feel a “wow experience” using Raise. That’s why we’ve focused on making it look and feel awesome and be more comfortable to use:
- Extra USB slot - It’s always handy to have a USB port next to you.
- Magnetic connectors - Instantly detach and attach any side. Change your setup instantly.
- Full aluminium body - More durable and beautiful.
- Magnetic inner joint - It feels solid when both sides are together and can’t accidentally split.
Choose your mechanical switches
Before buying a Raise you need to make an important decision: what kind of switches you want.
- 4 Kailh Speed switches
- 3 Cherry MX switches
- And 3 Kailh low profile (LP) switches for the under-row.
The under-row switches are smaller than the normal ones, this way when we press the spacebar we don’t accidentally press them too.
Here is the comparison chart between all switches:
There are 3 types of switches
- Clicky - Characteristic because of it’s clicky noise. You’ll feel a bump at the same time you hear the click. It’s the loudest of the three.
- Tactile - Medium noise and you’ll feel a bump when the switch is activated.
- Linear - No bump or noise. The quieter.
The actuation point is when the switch is activated. Kailh speed switches have a shorter actuation point, so you can input faster.
Bottom refers to Bottoming out (pushing the keycap until it hits the switch. As you can see, speed switches bottom out sooner, allowing us to have a shorter release and being able to input faster too.
The actuation force is how much pressure we need to be able to activate the switches.
In the following gif you can see you can see how the switches (linear, tactile and clicky) bottom out and their actuation point.
After the Kickstarter campaign ends we will contact all backers to know their switch preference.
If you aren’t sure what switch to pick, maybe this article or the following video helps you:
If you still aren't sure, don't worry! We'll do it for you and we're sure you'll like it.
- If we reach 187,500€ ($225,000) funding we will make a silver white Raise version.
- If we reach 291,700€ ($350,000) funding we will make free special set of keycaps for everyone that ordered a Raise.
- If we reach 416,800€ ($500,000) funding we will make free sleeve to protect Raise while transporting it.
How Dygma started
During Deilor's years competing at the highest levels of League of Legends, he met hundreds of esports professionals. All were extremely competitive, driven to succeed and spent their days training non-stop.
As a result, many experienced physical discomfort and in the worst cases injuries - ultimately affecting their performance, quality of life and happiness.
Looking for solutions for his players he realized that the gaming keyboard market was very underdeveloped. Big gaming brands weren’t innovating for their user’s benefit. They were focusing on investing in marketing while making slight modifications to existing products.
In July 2016 he decided to quit as Fnatic’s Lol coach. He had already experienced esports inside a pro team and felt he could do something that benefited the whole gaming community. He decide to create the first keyboard designed for esports.
How Raise was born
For 6 months we developed a keyboard with a groundbreaking design and tested extensively with users. The ergonomics feedback was great but it was too difficult to adapt to. We needed to find a way to add ease of use to our core values of performance and ergonomics.
So we decided to ditch the design and apply all that we learnt during the last 6 months. We started re-defining what our keyboard had to accomplish:
- Help improve health
- Help increase performance
- Increase comfort
- No learning curve
We had to start with the standard key distribution and build on top of that. After a few meetings, sketches and proposals, Raise was born.
In a few hours we built a simple prototype without electronics to check that the dimensions were correct and the thumb keys positions comfortable to use. Once we knew we were on the right track we 3D modeled it and built a functional prototype.
With this first functional prototype we did a round of testing with users and validated the design. At this point we were confident enough that this was the keyboard our customers would love. We decided to go to Shenzhen (China) to learn about the manufacturing processes and costs and find factories to manufacture.
The trip to Shenzhen was amazing, we made incredible contacts and learnt a ton. We partnered with a design studio with over 10 years of experience designing and manufacturing keyboards for some of the best gaming peripheral companies in the world.
Back in Spain we spent weeks testing and building new prototypes. Every new prototype had improvements based on testers' feedback.
Being sure that the design and the features were optimal we decided to build the final prototype. The case would be made of brushed aluminium and the finishing would be black anodizing. For the first time a Raise prototype would have the finishing, weight and feeling of the commercial product.
And finally, after travelling to China, months of development and testing… The first fully functional Raise prototype was ready!
Thanks to everyone that helped and supported us during this journey. Family and friends, kind internet users, our beta testers and all the collaborators we've had during the last months.
We believe that Raise is the seed that will make the peripheral industry focus more on gamers' health and performance, and less on doing the same products with tiny modifications.
Lastly, we would like to thank you for taking the time to view the Dygma Raise project. We hope that you will back and share this project!
We are also proud to let people know we've worked with Crowdco to help spread the word and getting us the press about our campaign. You can learn more about them here - http://crowdco.co
In The Press
Risks and challenges
Raise is not another plastic box. The Dygma Raise project will require managing several manufacturers and overseeing assembly of what these factories produce into a final product. Potential problems could be production delays because of components shortages and minor quality control issues.
In July we traveled to Shenzhen in July and visited over 25 factories and partnered with a designed house with 10+ years of experience designing and manufacturing gaming peripherals. We’ve created relationships with multiple vendors prior to launch, so that we are able to react quickly should any problems arise during the production of Raise.
We've done everything we can to set ourselves up to be on time and be ready to solve unanticipated delays. But making hardware is really hard and we are aware that most technology-focused Kickstarter campaigns deliver late. If something does come up, we promise to be forthright and transparent.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)