The Prototype Archive 8 UNL (Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory) New TRON Keyboard (2006)


Photo by Makoto Fujii

Photo by Makoto Fujii

Today’s keyboard layout is essentially the same as the first typewriter invented 130 years ago. The layout of a keyboard developed in the TRON (The Real-time Operation System Nucleus) Project about 20 years ago, however, is based on calculations of human hand movements and is tilted up 10 degrees to face the user and tilted down 10 degrees towards both ends.

Moreover, for inputting Japanese they analyzed text data of several million characters and defined a new key layout (TRON Layout). The more frequently used characters are assigned to the index and middle fingers and the frequently used shift key is assigned to the thumb instead of the little finger.

The next generation TRON Keyboard in the photo is also compatible with a mobile environment. Although it looks like a normal keyboard at a glance, its form is perfectly symmetrical. It can be split into two and tilted vertically and horizontally, or joined and used compactly. The alphanumeric key layout adopts the Dvorak layout that is reputed to be easier to use than the more popular QWERTY.

Since they also consider key touch to be an important factor in sensitive interaction they employ key parts with excellent reliability and operability realized by the latest technology. (from AXIS vol.123)

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