Wooting One Analog Keyboard Coming With Optical Flaretech Switches

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JamesSneed

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I wonder how they are dealing with dust and other particles getting under they key caps? Maybe they have some type of rubber o-ring that is built into the key cap? Anyhow seems like those optical sensors would degrade over time if dust isn't kept at bay.
 

livingspeedbump

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I wonder how they are dealing with dust and other particles getting under they key caps? Maybe they have some type of rubber o-ring that is built into the key cap? Anyhow seems like those optical sensors would degrade over time if dust isn't kept at bay.
I believe the dust would have to actually get inside of the switch itself. Though dust on the slider could work its way into the switch over time. If that will be enough to actually affect performance, who knows? These switches, while promising, have yet to really be field tested so it is really hard to make assumptions ahead of time with them.
 

Quixit

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The PS2 had pressure-sensitive face buttons, that didn't go anywhere because they were annoying and useless. I really can't see pressure sensitive keyboard buttons catching one for a similar reason. What's the use case?
 

therealduckofdeath

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The PS2 had pressure-sensitive face buttons, that didn't go anywhere because they were annoying and useless. I really can't see pressure sensitive keyboard buttons catching one for a similar reason. What's the use case?
Depending on how accurate and detailed the analoge thing is, how about sneak/walk/run on one button? Anything with an engine game? Sport games? All sorts of games.
Though, it all depends on how good these keys really are. :D
 

scolaner

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The PS2 had pressure-sensitive face buttons, that didn't go anywhere because they were annoying and useless. I really can't see pressure sensitive keyboard buttons catching one for a similar reason. What's the use case?
Depending on how accurate and detailed the analoge thing is, how about sneak/walk/run on one button? Anything with an engine game? Sport games? All sorts of games.
Though, it all depends on how good these keys really are. :D
Yep, exactly--that's the idea. Depending on how well Wooting carries it off, and how it works in games (it should "just work"), this type of design holds tons of promise for the future.
 

livingspeedbump

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The PS2 had pressure-sensitive face buttons, that didn't go anywhere because they were annoying and useless. I really can't see pressure sensitive keyboard buttons catching one for a similar reason. What's the use case?
Things like throttle, smooth turning in racing games, or really any vehicle movement come to mind. You could also play digital instruments potentially and actually capture dynamics potentially. There is definitely potential here, though until it becomes more popular (if it does) I don't think that potential will be fully realized!
 

ammaross

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The PS2 had pressure-sensitive face buttons, that didn't go anywhere because they were annoying and useless. I really can't see pressure sensitive keyboard buttons catching one for a similar reason. What's the use case?
Things like throttle, smooth turning in racing games, or really any vehicle movement come to mind. You could also play digital instruments potentially and actually capture dynamics potentially. There is definitely potential here, though until it becomes more popular (if it does) I don't think that potential will be fully realized!
Yep, the question is not the use-case (as there's one or two examples in most/all current games and some apps), the question is developer support. Most people don't/won't have this, so it would be more on the keyboard manufacturer to create drivers to "interpret" for games that don't have support since it isn't popular enough to merit developer support for any reasonable fraction of games. They could implement a "threshold" setting where the keypress is interpreted as "walk" with a light <33% press, "jog" for 33-66%, and "run" for >99%; so basically 3 buttons in one. Combine that with the optional actual in-game native dev support and they might be on to something.
 

scolaner

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Unless I'm mistaken, that's the whole point of the analog switches--the game reads the input like it was a joystick or w/e, not as a simple on/off function.
 

ammaross

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I haven't seen many PC games that take analog input for movement (except sometimes the console-port games like Darksiders, et al). For example, how would this work in World of Warcraft? It isn't developed with analog movement in mind, but with the "driver workaround" I suggest, it would.
 

lorfa

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Optical switches are awesome since they have no contact bouncing, but to use them in this regard seems strange. I can't think of many applications.
 

livingspeedbump

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Unless I'm mistaken, that's the whole point of the analog switches--the game reads the input like it was a joystick or w/e, not as a simple on/off function.
Correct, the computer will see this keyboard like it sees an XBOX controller, so in theory it SHOULD work with any game a controller works with.

So, there wouldn't be any reason to try using this in "game mode" with a game that a controller wouldn't be handy for.
 

alextheblue

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The PS2 had pressure-sensitive face buttons, that didn't go anywhere because they were annoying and useless. I really can't see pressure sensitive keyboard buttons catching one for a similar reason. What's the use case?
Things like throttle, smooth turning in racing games, or really any vehicle movement come to mind.
Except that analog inputs on a controller would be better. Analog triggers are better than analog keyboard keys, analog stick is better than analog W + D keys, etc. Steering wheel is better still but if you don't have one of those a wired 360 controller or XB1 controller + microUSB cable is the next best thing (and they're cheap).

The musical instruments example is a much better use-case, but this is marketed as a gaming keyboard, and I really don't want analog keys on my PC keyboard for gaming purposes. Pass.
 

grimfox

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It's an interesting idea. I wonder if the sensor will be practically effective. Will a user be able to adjust pressure pressure in a functional way to get the proclaimed results. When you look at a game pad the functions are split across both hands. here presumably everything will be split across fingers on the same hand. Having the bulk of the pressure keys under what is most commonly the non-dominant hand seems like a poor design choice. It'd be nice if you could move the switches around to suit your needs. Give the user 15 analog keys to drop in the place of any digital keys and let the driver figure the details out.

I think the original MS surface tablet had pressure sensitive keys but I don't believe anything useful or creative was ever done with it. Maybe it couldn't due to the way the MS driver for that keypad was built.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see where it goes.
 

livingspeedbump

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Unless I'm mistaken, that's the whole point of the analog switches--the game reads the input like it was a joystick or w/e, not as a simple on/off function.
Yeah this will actually see your keyboard like an XBOX controller. So any game that works with a controller, in theory, should work with this keyboard.
 

InvalidError

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I have played Gran Turismo 3/4 for hundreds of hours and really liked the analog buttons for gas and brakes. It may not have many uses in some game types but in racing, extra analog inputs are nearly essential for fine control.
 

turkey3_scratch

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What's going to make game makers though start building in analog key press features just to support this one keyboard? Unless this becomes a widespread adoption, I don't see the developers bothering spending time to program for a keyboard probably .01% of gamers will own.

I know Xbox 360 also had pressure-sensitive buttons.
 

RedJaron

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If they "didn't go anywhere", that's up to developers not taking advantage of them, not because they were useless. This isn't just racing games with throttle and brakes that can use these. The Bouncer used the pressure to differentiate attack strength and essentially gave you eight buttons instead of four for combos. Others mapped jump height. Don't blame Sony if devs didn't try to utilize it. The applications are many.

To people saying it's useless on keyboards, did you ignore the other responses talking about using this for better movement control? Analog thumbsticks are fantastic for sneak/walk/run control. That ability alone would make this fantastic for PC gaming.
 

RedJaron

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The keyboard is supposed to emulate a controller. So, depending on the software implementation, the game makers don't need to support this specific keyboard, they just need to support gamepads in general.
 

fastcountach

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The PS2 had pressure-sensitive face buttons, that didn't go anywhere because they were annoying and useless. I really can't see pressure sensitive keyboard buttons catching one for a similar reason. What's the use case?
Things like throttle, smooth turning in racing games, or really any vehicle movement come to mind. You could also play digital instruments potentially and actually capture dynamics potentially. There is definitely potential here, though until it becomes more popular (if it does) I don't think that potential will be fully realized!
I totally agree. I loved the pressure sensitive buttons for throttle and brake in GT3. I found it way easier than the linear triggers on PS3 for GT5. Also note that "pressure" sensitive is different than linear position, which this keyboard utilizes.
 

LatexRat

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Another potential use for an analog keyboard would be having the ability to choose what depth a key registers a keystroke while typing.
 
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