Alex Belits abelits at belits.com
Fri May 23 02:42:05 EDT 2008

Albert Cahalan wrote:
>> I can think of a few ways to integrate a keyboard with this new design.
>> But then we continue the huge production/logistical problem of
>> generating keyboards (and spares keyboards) for each country.
> For generating them, you could do something more like an ink-jet.
> Then you don't have to retool the factory to change things.
> Write a mirror image into the mold for durability.
> A flex keyboard with hard keycaps would have been lovely to type on.
> It can be done; you just need a hardness gradient like the squid:
> http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/29/237206&from=rss

It should be possible to make a touch-sensitive "keyboard/touchpad" 
layer that can be placed either on a screen or smooth plastic surface, 
then decide if the device is going to have that second screen.

Regardless of that decision, it should be possible to provide separate 
keyboard mechanisms (XO-1-like, regular laptop scissor keys, "clicky" 
keys) that can cover the sensor for easier typing, and can be mounted 
over a touchscreen with some pins and slots, clamp in hinge, etc. If the 
keyboard mechanism breaks, it will be possible to remove it and continue 
typing directly on the sensor using printed or on-screen keyboard image 
until the replacement keyboard arrives. For some activities the keyboard 
can be removed or replaced with a special layout (piano keys, audio or 
video mixer or editor, vehicle-like controls).


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