The relative ease with which we have shifted to using touch screen keyboards is almost frightening. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were using those giant yellow and brown keyboards with the deep, springy, clacking keys?
It was in 1852 that the typewriter (and keyboard) was patented, but it wasn’t until 1961 that IBM manufactured a typewriter called Selectra that actually took into account the ergonomics of hand position. This was right at the point when typing speed was becoming an important job requirement.
In the 1970s, keyboards started appearing with switches, or small magnets, inside the keys, which helped define what we know as the keystroke. Many elements working in tandem define a good keystroke—distance to travel, “break force,” “snap point,” etc.
These days, manufacturers are looking to improve the tactile feeling of keyboards—for physical ones, thinner is better. For touch screen ones, more touch “feedback” is better. Some companies are even looking to completely re-invent keyboards altogether.
Read the full article on Computerworld here.