Back in February, we heard about the Wooting One, a mechanical keyboard that can take analog input like the buttons on modern gamepads. Wooting recently launched the keyboard on Kickstarter, and it’s revealed that all of the peripheral’s keys will be analog, as well as a general idea of how they’re able to pull that off.
The secret behind the Wooting One actually lies in a new type of keyboard switch developed by Adomax, which are called Flaretech optical mechanical switches. While most mechanical switches use pressure to detect when a key is pressed, keyboards using Flaretech switches have an infrared emitter and a light sensor sensor on their circuit boards that detect both how far and how fast a key is being pressed. Voila – analog input.
Another advantage of Flaretech switches is that they can easily be replaced with other MX-type switches, which means you can have different switches on every key if you want. That should do wonders both for customization and repairability.
I don’t know if Flaretech or Wooting implemented this, but in any case Windows computers will detect the Wooting One as either a keyboard with simple on or off input or as an Xinput device with analog input. When it launches, you’ll have to switch between the two modes, but Wooting says they hope to add a hybrid option in the future; i.e. you’ll have some keys are detected as Xinput device while some remain as a keyboard.
Assuming Flaretech switches are the real deal I have no doubt that more companies will adopt this revolutionary technology. But for now, Wooting got dibs. You can pledge ~$155 (USD) on Kickstarter to receive a Wooting One keyboards as a reward.
[via Slash Gear]