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Das Keyboard is a mechanical keyboard that is both and input and output device, does more than just display pretty key colors. (via Das Keyboard's kickstarter)

 

I’m a big fan of the keyboard (Mechanical in particular). Despite all the innovation around HMIs, the keyboard remains our number one way to interface with the world. Das Keyboard has baby-stepped the keyboard towards something new.

 

There are apps dedicated to keeping our tasks organized and computers can be fine tuned to your business needs, we all know this. But what about your keyboard? Shouldn't it be as smart and helpful as the device in your pocket? Sure, there are mechanical keyboards, which are customizable and designed for your specific comfort needs (See Ergodox, my current keyboard), but can they help streamline your work day? The Das Keyboard seems to offers just that. Making the backlighting of the keyboard addressable.

 

Das Keyboard 5Q is the world's first cloud-connected keyboard, allowing users to stream information and color code keys from the internet directly to the keyboard. What does this mean exactly? Say that you're working on a project and have several tabs open. Not only does it slow down your computer, but you're wasting time constantly switching between tabs manually. Instead of doing this, you can set keys to display the tab you want. Need to see your company's software build status? Set it to B; the colors can be set to green for pass and red for fail. Need to stay on top of customer satisfaction? Program the number keys to display ratings from 1 to 10.

 

But what makes Das Keyboard stand apart from other mechanical keyboards on the market is it's not just an input device – it's also an output device. Instead of dragging your mouse and clicking to find out information from those all important tabs; it's right at your fingertips. No need to keep those tabs open any longer. The keyboard is also equipped with special Gamma Zulu switches by Omron that can withstand 100 million key strokes. And while other mechanical keyboards on the market may offer a wide range of colors for customization, none are as bright as this one. Beneath each key is an LED pipe with RBGs that are bolder and shinier than the competition. The colors aren't there to just look pretty; they can represent whichever notifications you need. Finally, you can give your iPhone a break from checking it every five minutes.

 

And if you're worried about information overload or not remembering the difference between the green and blue keys - pressing the built in “Q” button, which pulls up all your set notifications. Here is where I bet it shines; for those who are proficient in programming will be happy to know the keyboard is associated with an open API where the Das Keyboard can be programmed. The developers also encouraging community building and are developing a website where their creations and widgets can be shared with others. For any gamers and typists out there who are in the market for speed will be happy to know the Das Keyboard is one of the fastest analog electronics on the market. It detects a keypress in 0.4 milliseconds and sends it to the computer in 1 millisecond. To give you an idea, other keyboards take between 20 to 45 milliseconds to report it to the computer. This makes the Das Keyboard up to 45 times faster than other keyboards.

 

The Das Keyboard 5Q is currently seeking $100,000 in funding on Kickstarter and has since surpassed its goal. If your job requires you to sit at your computer coding all day or you want to make sure get the best score in Overwatch, this is a keyboard to invest in. It'll set you back $139, not bad for a mechanical keyboard. On one hand, I see the board being subtle and classy with notifications, but then... annoying with too many. Sort of reminds me of the time saving, efficiency increasing, coding font. It's a maybe, maybe not.

 

See their energetic promo video below:

 

 

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