Do you know what function CTRL-SHIFT-Alt-E performs in Photoshop? If a new Kickstarter project pans out, you probably won't care.
Situated just a few miles away from Dracula's famous castle in Transylvania, Sorin Neica has created the "Keyboard-S," a massive, 319-key keyboard the size of a placemat. Neica says that 372 of the most common tools, filters and functions have been hardwired into 299 of the keys. In addition, there are 20 customizable keys.
"Now the Photoshop and other editing programs will be very simple for everyone!" Neica's Kickstarter reads. "You have everything under your eyes! In order to find very fast the tool, the function, the filter you need, we put them in different groups of colors, so that became very intuitive. It is not anymore necessary to take off your hand from the mouse to get shortcuts with both hands!"
Neica and his team need to raise $185,280 for the first iteration of the keyboard, a wired USB version. Stretch goals of $350,000 and $550,000 call for the designers to order up wireless and a "Mac design" aluminum finish. With 52 days to go, 28 backers have raised just $2,565, however.
The Keyboard-S measures 15.86 in. x 12.04 in. by 0.31 in., about the width of a normal keyboard, but much taller than the 4.5 inches of so of a normal USB keyboard. Neica hasn't released details of the bumps or switches inside the keyboard, although the 8-mm thickness probably implies something relatively inexpensive, rather than the mechanical keyboards we profiled last month. They're made in China, Neica says.
The very first backers to sign on to use the Keyboard-S will pay $89, according to the Kickstarter listing, while later signups will pay somewhat more. Sorin Neica will also tack on $28 for shipping.
Neica claims the quick access to commonly-used keys can save hours worth of time. "We think that everybody knows all the advantages for such a keyboard, especially today when everyone has a camera in their pocket and wants to use such a software to edit photos, or make design," the company says. "Using this dedicated keyboard is very very easy for a beginner to start working with Photoshop, increases the creativity for a middle level user and the professionals will be at least 30% faster."
We're all in favor of keyboards designed to improve productivity, but we're not quite sure this is going to save any time versus a habitual Photoshop user who has memorized the appropriate key touches. Graphics professional, weigh in — what do you think?
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