Smart keyboard dials up touch, tap and twist function shortcuts
Logitech has launched the Craft wireless keyboard at IFA 2017 in Berlin. Aimed at digital designers and creative pros, the peripheral features a touch-enabled multifunction dial that shortcuts to context-specific tools in software running on a PC or Mac.
The Craft keyboard's aluminum smart dial is called the Crown and is located to the top left of the main keying area. By touching, tapping and turning the dial, users can access and control commonly used tools in (a rather short list of) popular content creation software. Logitech says that the system is able to recognize the software being used and adjust the available toolset accordingly.
"The creative input dial gives you instant access to the functions you need, the moment you need them, allowing you to increase your productivity by simply touching the dial," said Logitech's Art O'Gnimh.
Usage examples include adjusting the brightness, contrast and saturation of an image in Photoshop, changing brush size in a painting app, choosing a different chart type in Excel or altering the font size in a word processor. Custom profiles for software like Photoshop and Illustrator, PowerPoint and Word can be loaded in via Options software, with one additional user-assigned function available.
Global controls – such as volume adjustment and desktop/app navigation – can also be accessed using the Crown. The Craft keyboard includes a built-in battery that's charge over USB, and should be good for a week's worth of creativity between top-ups.
The idea is to use the Crown to access key software functions or toolsets, use the full-size keyboard for typing and a mouse to navigate.
Keys are backlit when needed, with the Craft keyboard auto detecting the approach of a user's hands and adjusting lighting intensity to different room conditions, and an Easy-Switch button allows for switching between up to three connected devices. Users can choose to wirelessly connect to a computer using Logitech's 2.4 GHz Unifying USB plug or over Bluetooth LE.
The Logitech Craft keyboard is due for release in October for US$199.99, the video below shows artist Pawel Nolbert putting the Crown to good use (about 1 minute in).