Click&Touch keyboard puts the trackpad in the keys
Bluetooth keyboards are great when you need to type on a tablet and don't want much of the screen lost to virtual keys, but a built-in trackpad would be useful. Rather than bulk out the form factor, Belarus-based Clevetura is launching a keyboard under the Prestigio brand that turns the keying area into a touch-sensitive trackpad when the user isn't typing.
"A separate touch panel is not needed for a keyboard, as the keys perform its functions for you," said company founders Valentin Sokol and Mikhail Krupenkov. "All you need to do is swipe across them to control the cursor or perform other operations. It is convenient, functional and saves time as you do not need to constantly change the position of your hand. Actually, it offers a totally new experience of interacting with a computer as you do not need to think about input devices as everything is done intuitively."
Three years in development, the 283 x 132 x 16 mm (11 x 5 x 0.6 in), 307 g (10.8 oz) Click&Touch keyboard uses Bluetooth 4.2 to wirelessly connect to devices and is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Android and Samsung TV operating platforms. A mobile app for Android/iOS is currently being worked on.
The keyboard has two distinct modes of operation, which are activated automatically depending on user behavior. In Type mode, it behaves just like a normal keyboard. In Touch mode, the surface of the keys register touch input, effectively turning the keying area into a giant trackpad catering for taps, swipes and scrolls.
This is made possible thanks to sensors embedded into the keys and a microcontroller that recognizes the touch and strokes of users to switch modes in an instant. Multiple simultaneous clicks, touches and other gestures are supported.
Production is due to start this month, with commercial availability – initially in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Baltic states – penciled in for the end of August. Sales in other countries are expected to follow. Pricing has not been revealed at this stage. And a laptop sporting the Clevetura tech is in development. The video below has more.