updated 04:40 pm EDT, Thu August 6, 2009
MS Pressure Keyboard Demo
Microsoft this evening said it would demonstrate a prototype for a pressure-sensitive keyboard at October's User Interface Software and Technology conference. Where most keyboards only register input as on or off, membranes under every key on the new example can register 256 different levels of force and perform a different action accordingly. In tests, Microsoft has already shown the keyboard could be used to enter capital letters just by pressing hard on a key or to erase a whole word with the Delete key.
The UIST unveiling will be part of a student contest encouraging students to develop their own practical uses for the keyboard. Microsoft tells Electronista that the keyboard is, for now, just a prototype with no confirmed plans to turn it into a production model. The demo unit uses the shell from an existing Microsoft keyboard with the membrane underneath.