A Lockergnome member and software engineer, Mary Barnes, wrote about an innovative keyboard/ mouse that has enabled her to use her computer despite painful arthritis in the hands. The Touchstream Keyboard is certainly the most innovative keyboard I have ever seen and Mary says it best:
"Several years ago at a World Science Fiction Convention, I attended a panel called "Inventions I Would Like to See." I said I wanted a keyboard with a flat, smooth surface, zero feedback and zero moving parts, activated by a light touch, like some elevator buttons. I wanted to type while talking on the phone, without the person hearing my keyboard. I was also tired of cleaning pizza crumbs out of my keyboard. "And as long as we’re dreaming," I said, "I want to be able to fold it up and carry it with my laptop." My suggestion was not well received. The general reaction was, "You HAVE to have feedback! How will you know when you hit a key?"
I figured that if the folks in THAT room couldn’t see my vision, nobody ever would, and my dream keyboard would remain just that.
Since then, I have developed an even better reason for wanting my dream keyboard. Both my thumbs have arthritis, and 20 years of tucking my left thumb under my palm to reach for the Alt key, then increasing the pressure on the joint by hitting other keys, have taken their toll.
But somebody else had my dream and made it even better–the entire surface of the keyboard, when touched with two right fingers, becomes the mouse. Three fingers means drag. Use two fingers of the left hand together, and they become cursor keys. Hold down the thumb and three fingers of either hand, and it’s the same as pressing Alt. And on and on. It took a few days to get used to it, but I figure this keyboard has extended my career by at least 10 years.
And it folds up. It’s a Touchstream Keyboard."
(via Chris Pirillo)