Wednesday, September 21, 2005

 

First pc keyboard with user programmable display keys 205 pro


United Keys, Inc. announced today at DEMOfall the world’s first PC keyboard with user programmable display keys. The 205PRO PC keyboard has small, changeable LCD displays embedded in the keytops of all twelve function keys.

The limitation of traditional PC key programming, including “shortcuts,” is that users can’t remember them. As a result, tremendous usability and productivity advantages are lost. With United Keys 205PRO, users or software developers can create custom icons or other images that visually identify complex functions or next steps in software operation. The small displays change dynamically, updating as new software is loaded or new applications within programs are utilized.
“The bottleneck of PC computing is the laborious nature of hierarchical command structures," said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the DEMO conferences. “It limits the user experience and leads to feature underutilization. The 205PRO can dramatically change this. In commercial applications, the productivity improvement is direct and measurable. For the rest of us, it makes software more interactive and engaging.”

United Keys estimates the market for user programmable display keyboards at 15% of all PC shipments. The company’s patented and patent-pending technology also applies to other electronic input devices, such as mobile phones and automobiles.

The 205PRO keyboard is built by a leading manufacturer using internal metal frames and mechanical keyswitches. The enclosure is heavy and extremely durable. Keytop displays are 20 pixels by 20 pixels, in monochrome. The keyboard runs on USB 2.0, and comes with desktop software featuring a real-time Icon Editor and icon-to-hexadecimal Image Converter.

How It Works

The 205PRO keyboard offers three options for display key customization. One, users can create icons for shortcuts using the Icon Editor. In this way, they can have icons for shortcuts or macros they create or ones that come with third-party software. Two, Internet sites can embed hexadecimal code in web pages that will automatically launch images on users’ display keys related to site-specific content (in effect, creating “shortcuts for the Internet”). And three, software developers can use a free software API to create key display images that automatically load and display with their program implementation.

The retail price of the 205PRO is $299.99, and will be available in the first quarter of 2006. Special “friends and family” pricing of $199.99 is available until the end of the year.
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