In 1981, IBM released its first personal computer. Five years later, it came equipped with the Model M keyboard, which became an instant hit with users, thanks to its tactile feedback, sturdy design and accuracy.
We have come a long way since the traditional mouse—yes, the rolling ball one—and heavy keyboards. Everything has gone wireless, thinner and lighter. But accessibility, ergonomics and design customisation are big on the agenda as independent designers or consumer technology companies re-imagine the mouse and keyboard.
Ergonomics is perhaps the biggest USP here. Take Logitech, for example, which has over the years worked on how the mouse looks and feels. One of its recent devices, the MX Master 3S mouse, has a unique tilt angle to ensure a more natural and comfortable posture for your arm. In fact, the MX mouse inspired an Indian designer to come up with an innovative mouse design concept, the Dial project.
Next comes sustainability and customisation. Razer is known for its gaming mice and other PC peripherals. Earlier this month, it unveiled the Basilisk V3 and DeathAdder Essential mice, which obtained “green certification”. They are also customisable. The Basilisk V3, for example, has 11 lighting zones which you can customise with over 16.8 million colours and multiple lighting effects.
Keyboards are not too far behind. Apple, for instance, was recently granted a patent for a futuristic MacBook with a touchscreen keyboard that could all but eliminate the traditional, physical keyboard. Could clicks and keystrokes one day be replaced by gestures? Would we even need a mouse?
Kwumsy K2 mechanical keyboard
The mechanical keyboard comes with a 12.6-inch IPS touchscreen. According to the Kwumsy website, the touchscreen will help cut dependence on the mouse and improve efficiency. It’s a plug-and-play device that comes with 3 USB ports and is compatible with tablets, desktops and laptops. The keyboard also has 71 keys that are swappable. Available on Kwumsy.com; ₹31,092.93
Logitech MX Master 3S mouse and Mechanical keyboards
The MX Master 3S mouse and Mechanical keyboards are recent additions to Logitech’s Master series. The MX Master 3S mouse features an 8,000 DPI optical sensor that tracks on most surfaces, including glass. Both the MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini are designed with dual-colored keycaps and feature six smart backlighting options. Available on Logitech.com; prices vary
The Dial mouse project
A project by Munich-based designer Ashwin Suresh, the Dial is a concept which imagines a mouse with a scroll wheel on the third axis. Suresh says adding a simple dial-turn interaction to a mouse enhances the user experience of adjusting something on a PC—like increasing the volume or changing brush size on Adobe Photoshop.
“The next step in the process would be to create a working prototype and test the product with multiple users. As a concept, the Dial mouse is still far away from being a marketable product. Perhaps in the future, under the right circumstances, I would be open to working towards a market-ready product,” Suresh says in an emailed response.
Razer Ecologo gaming mice
The Basilisk V3 and the DeathAdder Essential became the world’s first gaming mice to achieve Ecologo certification— they meet strict environmental performance industry standards. The Basilisk V3 has also been tested for dermal biocompatibility. It has 11 programmable buttons, a scrolling wheel that offers a four-way scroll, and a switch life cycle of 70 million clicks. Available on Amazon.in; ₹7,999 (Basilisk V3)
Microsoft Adaptive Accessories line
This new Adaptive Accessories line is designed for people with disabilities who may find it difficult to use a traditional mouse and keyboard. While there are many devices in this line, which is yet to be released, a key component is the Microsoft Adaptive Mouse. It can connect wirelessly to up to three devices or via USB-C. The mouse can be used by itself or users can add an adaptive mouse tail and thumb support to personalise the mouse further.
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