Google Japan just released the Key Bouan insane straight bar keyboard, but at the same time it is much more logical for the work routine.
“Until now, we were only focusing on the ‘key’ part of the keyboard,” explains Hiroyuki Komatsu, a software engineer at Google in Japan, “but we started to think that we should look at what’s next.” It’s the kind of design philosophy you’d expect from a company that prides itself on innovation. The conclusion they reached, however, is anything but expected.
Meet this new keyboard and how it really is more functional than what we are used to using.
Google Japan and the new keyboard
In Japanese, the word “keyboard” is spelled like this.
That first part, キー, means “key”, so Komatsu and his fellow design team members looked at what comes next, ボー. This part means “board”, but due to the characteristics of the Japanese pronunciation, ボー is actually pronounced “bou”. Bou happens to also be the native Japanese word for “stick,” which is how Google Japan’s newly invented keyboard ended up like this.
Key Bou, or Gboard Bar Version as Google also calls it, ditches the familiar rectangular keyboard layout and instead places all the keys in a row. This is not a partial, limited-use keyboard like a 10-key keyboard for numeric input. Key Bou is a complete keyboard, with all the keys you need for any and every application.
Designers tout how easy it is to use. Instead of having to hunt up, down, left, and right for the key you’re looking for, you can just start at one end and work your way down the line, confident that you’ll be somewhere along the 165 centimeters from the keyboard.
The advantages of the new keyboard from Google Japan
In addition to ease of use, some of Key Bou’s numerous benefits over a standard keyboard include:
- Can be used even on a table full of documents
- Helps maintain a comfortable amount of side personal space
- The shape is less appealing to cats looking for a place to lie down.
- A single row of keys lets you do all the cleaning with a single stroke.
- If you type together with a partner, you can increase your input speed and strengthen your friendship.
However, despite all the logical thinking the designers put into it, apparently Google’s corporate management isn’t confident enough to start producing and selling Key Bous.
But, if you want to know a little more about this keyboard, see the following video (in Japanese with English subtitles):
Source: Sora News.