Google Japan’s outlandish keyboards may be one of the best working joke in tech •

The TechCrunch newsroom fears just one factor: the approaching of April 1. As a result of, I’m simply going to say it, the tech trade isn’t very humorous. However Google Japan’s ongoing collection of ridiculous keyboards, the place they fully decide to the joke, suggests we might have discovered the primary recognized exception.

The most recent is the “Gboard Bar Model,” (or stick model relying on the interpretation), a keyboard about 1.6 meters ft lengthy (down from 2.4 meters within the prototype) with all of the letters and numbers organized from left to proper in a “one-dimensional QWERTY format.” There are alternatives for ABC, ASCII codes and katakana.

Now not will it’s important to hunt and peck for particular person keys, the creators clarify. “With this keyboard, it is vitally handy to know instantly that the sixteenth letter from the left is G.” So easy!

It additionally has ergonomic benefits:

“While you use this keyboard, your arms will naturally unfold out, so you may stretch your arms secretly even at work. While you press the rightmost and leftmost keys on the similar time, you might stretch your legs unintentionally,” the crew writes.

After all it additionally doubles as a reaching implement for hitting distant mild switches, and triples as a strolling stick for when it is advisable to contact grass. Watch the video under for a lot of extra little light-hearted and genuinely chuckle-worthy makes use of and advantages:

It was posted on September 1, I feel as a result of it has 101 keys. The joke not showing on the normal day for such issues makes it all of the funnier.

However this isn’t the primary “new enter proposal from the Gboard crew.” The posts have been happening for 10 years now, beginning with a Morse Code enter technique and getting quite extra concerned from there. Some are extra profitable than others, however even when the spoon-bending one is a bit a lot, the origin video continues to be wonderful. I like send-ups of self-serious product journeys, and that is no exception:

The Tegaki “bodily handwriting” keyboard, primarily a real-world model of the swiping used on the precise Gboard and others, is shut sufficient to actuality that you just would possibly simply suppose it’s an precise product. The truth is I really feel positive I’ve seen one thing like this earlier than, as a means of controlling the cursor.

A number of the designs are genuinely fascinating and memorable little items of engineering, like this tilting-key keyboard:

Picture Credit: Google Japan

And this built-in teacup merchandise is delightfully absurd:

teacup keys

Picture Credit: Google Japan

In case you’re questioning how you utilize it (translated by Google from the Japanese): “The kanji for fish are organized within the syllabary on the 50 keys. As a substitute of [an] alphabet, it makes use of a sushi association of horse mackerel, sardine, eel, ei, and okoze, and characters are enter by fish-kanji conversion.” Very finny.

However the crew clearly had enjoyable with it, and amazingly they’ve really constructed these designs — you could find the code and blueprints right here.

That is certifiably historic information for our Japanese readers, however I hadn’t seen it get any play over right here within the States. And I determine the alternative finish of the 12 months from April Idiot’s is one of the best time to spotlight this pleasant bit of labor by a crew that appears to be humorous and devoted in equal measure.

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