How to bring forward the community?

Nikita V. Youshchenko yoush at
Wed Feb 29 11:35:29 CET 2012

> May I ask why you need a (mechanical) keyboard?

Because typing text on hardware keyboard (at least, one on N900 or on 
SonyEricsson sk18i that I'm using currently) is 10 times faster than doing 
so on any onscreen keyboard I've seen.

Having keyboard actually turns a "phone" (i.e. device to do calls, plus 
occasional short message or short web search query) into "mobile computer" 
that can be used for convenient chatting, writing large e-mails and even 
documents, work in unix shell, programming, etc.

The difference is dramatic.

> The first aspect is mechanics. A keyboard should be sliding in and out
> or otherwise the device becomes much bigger than dictated by the display
> (which should also become bigger).
> Next thing is: what is a really good keyboard? How much pressure, which
> button size, etc.

n900 had all that good.

> Then, we have to define a keyboard layout. QWERTY or ABCDEF. Add
> numeric keys or make them Num+QWERTY to save one row of keys.
> And to unsimplify, we need a US, a UK, a German, a French, an Italian
> layout and maybe Chinese, Japanese etc. This is doable by exchanging
> keycaps or keymats - but we have to stock and provide several different
> ones.

Layout could be changed via software.
What is actually printed on keys, does not matter much, it is changable on 
user side.

> Finally, designing a really good and working keyboard is almost as
> expensive as designing a new injection mould...

Isn't it possible, under some conditions, to reuse parts from phones 
already on market?

> Compare this with readily available small bluetooth keyboards in the
> 25-50 EUR range... So we simply recommend to purchase such a thing
> because we never can get one such cheap.

Two devices is not the same as single device. We are talking about a phone 
= device that user takes with him almost everywhere.

It is also possible to use a netbook. But it is not the same as using a 

Bluetooth keyboard can become an option only if coupled with a case that 
binds phone and keyboard together, and still fits into pocket. So it is 
still usable e.g. when standing in crowded transport.

> All this could be so simple if we have a software keyboard on the LCD :)
> Just choose what you want by software. Choose between different input
> methods. No hardware changes needed. Robust against water, and keycap
> wear off.

... and inability to use it for anything larger than yes-no-style answers.

> This is why we try to avoid making any keyboard.

That's sad. It means no devices for me from your camp ... :(

> So let us understand what the issues are with a onscreen keyboard and
> try to improve that

Conflicts for space on tiny (touch)screen with everything else.
Does not feel 3d, thus too easy to touch neighbour key.

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