Make HID (human interface device) Beautiful

Discussion in '3D Design Requests' started by parrleu, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. parrleu
    parrleu New Member
    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 a simple and beautiful replacement for the horrible and outdated keyboard and mouse that shows off the features of the software and blends in beautifully to people's lives.

    [list type=square]
    [*] 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: 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.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  2. parrleu
    parrleu New Member
    The HCI software is definitely going to be released in a few different forms, whether hardware is part of the package or not. It utilizes a few different generic HID drivers, like that for a keyboard and a mouse. So, any chip with those readily available drivers loaded could be used in construction (and, in fact, many chips are sold with one or more of these generic drivers pre-loaded.)

    Unless otherwise discussed, designs utilized in our presentations would be considered free use on both sides, with no need for even an NDA unless the designer would like to delve into the HCI code. So, designs provided for this project could then be manufactured by the designer for use with the software independent of our involvement, as well. :D
  3. parrleu
    parrleu New Member
    Update: As we have had some really promising contacts with some designers now, and feel fairly confident that we can find some good small run manufacturers that will suit, we have decided that we are definitely going to be pursuing the crowdsourced funding option for some variations of the HCI/HID combos. (We think that if this: can get over $200k and other devices that are also not revolutionary can be well funded through this method, options that pare down full control and typing to 5 or 10 key configurations that can fit efficiently and elegantly into the background of life will be able to do so, too. )

    This effort will probably begin in earnest after June, since we are focused on investor meetings for the next few months. However, we are researching possibilities for this already and any designs submitted for the meeting prototypes will considered for this, if the designer so wishes. :cool: