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Make HID (human interface device) Beautiful [message #64309] Mon, 18 March 2013 01:08 UTC Go to previous message
avatar parrleu  is currently offline parrleu
Messages: 15
Registered: July 2012
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There are few ubiquitous household items as ugly in form and function as a computer keyboard. They're everywhere. They're an inefficient and archaic visual distraction, barely suited to stamp ink on dead trees, as they were originally designed to do.

Computer components need to be elegant, form well married to specific functionality needs, if computers are to fade into the background of life and thus best support it - and that is nigh impossible with the keyboard hanging out.

I'm a hci software guy. I spent almost three years writing a library of code to enable a new generation of input devices... beautiful, simple and efficient... closer to playing a musical instrument than typing on a typewriter.

I need designs for a piece or two of hardware that shows off how beautiful and/or hidden a computer input device can be when you completely minimize its form...

If you are an industrial designer or a mid level maker or even a just a for the fun of it 2d or 3d CAD nerd, allowing for the device functionality will be a trivial concern, with 90% of your attention paid to the form of the device... and that's what I'm looking for... a simple and beautiful replacement for the horrible and outdated keyboard and mouse that shows off the features of the software and blends in beautifully to people's lives.


  • The designs will have 5 (1 hand) or 10 keys (2 hand - probably 2 groups of 5 keys, but that's up to the designer : - ))
  • The electronics area to allow for will be pretty simple - probably just an HID chip - as tiny as possible - with ports to wire to buttons, etc - a power source, wireless connector (preferably low power bluetooth), and wires to connect the chip to everything it needs to connect to. Right now we're using this chip: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10823 for physical prototypes, but are definitely open to looking at other options.
  • While the designs can be created as completely conceptual, we would prefer to be able to physically prototype them using something like 3d printing, laser cutting or other maker accessible options and electronics components that would also be maker accessible.
  • Preferably, the file format will be solidworks compatible.


For now, this is an unpaid gig, with the compensation mainly being in the form of some really sweet portfolio designs, hope for a better HID tomorrow, and maybe a makey makey type gift for those times when nothing but a banana piano will do. We do have investor meetings lined up and will credit any prototype designs used to show off the software during those, as well.

If we decide to sell the software in various configurations packaged with hardware variations, and everyone feels like a good time was had by all in this trial run, then we can talk about a production partnership. If that were to be a possibility, industrial design related experience or strong enough to heavily research it type interest - sourcing, packaging, etc. - would be a big bonus.

[Updated on: Tue, 02 April 2013 21:06 UTC]

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