This Weird Warped Keyboard Actually Makes A Lot Of Sense

Imagine your hands typing on a standard keyboard. Now relax your shoulders and unbend your wrists so your hands line up with your forearms. That's why the new X-Bows keyboard is so oddly shaped.

The X-Bows is a new sort of ergonomic mechanical keyboard, designed to alleviate the repetitive strain injuries of the shoulders, wrists and forearms often encountered by folks who spend a lot of time typing.

Company founder Dr. Sigo Wang, a specialist in medical imaging, saw a lot of these injuries and decided to design a new keyboard as a preventative solution.

Rather than go with a split solution like the Ergodox, which does alleviate strain but features a really steep learning curve, Dr. Wang designed a keyboard that's a little more familiar to the everyday user.

So it's got the inward bowing on both sides, which helps straighten the wrists and spread the shoulders. The alphanumeric keys are ortholinear -- on top of one another -- instead of the staggered layout originally introduced in mechanical typewriters to make the mechanism less prone to jamming.

While the standard functions are available on the sides of the board, there's also a Shift, Enter, Ctrl and Backspace key in the center of the board, so users can use their thumbs more and their pinkies less. The board is fully programmable as well, so nothing is set in stone.

And of course, RGB lighting.

There are a couple of things set in plastic, however. The X-Bows' unique design means users aren't going to be swapping out keycaps any time soon. The board comes with a custom set of doubleshot ABS plastic shine-through caps atop a selection of Gateron switches, and there aren't a lot of standard shapes.

Maybe if the board catches on we'll see some custom kits, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

X-Bows is currently running a Kickstarter campaign, which seems to be moving along at a nice clip. They have got a silver version planned in case things go incredibly well.

You can read more about the X-Bows over at the official website. 


Comments

    WOW!!! Microsoft should pick this company up and run with the design!

    Eh, my keyboard sits fairly far in on the desk so my hands are pretty straight relative to my arms most of the time. Now the hunch I have while leaning on the desk is another story...

    Reminds me of the old Microsoft ergonomic keyboard.

      I used one of these for years back in the day, I even gamed on it. Was a great board.

    Looks like the keyboard from the 90s MS put out and everyone gave them shit for.

      The MS Natural. Got one in '96... I'm still using it.

      Thing is god damn hard to kill. Been puked all over and it still goes. Been stripped and cleaned many times.

    Neat Star Fleet insignia in the middle there.

    I'm not sure I like the placement of the A in relation to the W. It looks like it could be awkward for WASD movement in games. Granted I've only ever used the standard keyboard layout so I could be wrong.

    Also, the lack of a numpad irks me.

    I guess Microsoft's 1990s patent ran out.

    Still have one in my junk pile too.

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