Which mechanical keyboard switch is best?
Mechanical keyboards are now in wide use in almost every industry, but in the past, many companies have struggled to find a reliable way to program them.
Now, thanks to a team of mechanical engineers at the University of Waterloo in Canada, they have cracked the code of what makes them so reliable, and they’ve created an open source switch that you can use to program any type of mechanical keyboard.
Read more: The world’s first robotic typewriter The team’s new design, dubbed ‘Mechanical Keyboard Switch’, has been described as a “complete rewrite of the original mechanical keyboard” and was recently unveiled at the World Robotics Congress in Mexico City.
The team says they used a combination of “open source and open source libraries” to build the switch.
“We made this switch with a number of open source library sources that were not open source in the first place,” says Jonathan Laidlaw, the lead author of the paper.
“We had to make sure we had the right software for the job.”
The switch consists of a small plastic body that sits above the keyboard and acts as a mechanical lift, allowing the keys to be pushed into place.
“When the key is pressed, the motor moves up through the material, the material moves to the opposite side, the metal is pushed up into the air and then the metal goes back down into the material,” Laidaw explains.
“The key will then move back into place.”
The team’s original design had two keys, one in the centre and one in a horizontal position.
With this design, there was no way to determine which one was which.
With this new design in place, the team could now program the keys and other keys on the keyboard by simply clicking the two buttons on the underside of the keyboard.
The switch can also be programmed to act as a trigger for a specific function, such as a joystick or an audio jack.
The team was also able to make the switch’s design compatible with a range of existing keyboards.
The keyboard can be programmed with the keyboard’s mechanical keyboard controller, the same controller used by mechanical keyboards like the IBM Big Wheel and the IBM Model M, and the new switch can be used with any type or size mechanical keyboard, from those that have keyboards with small switches to those with massive, full-sized keyboards.
“It was pretty much impossible to program a mechanical keyboard,” says Laidaws co-author, Jonathan Rydberg.
“You couldn’t change the shape of the keys, or change the number of keys, you couldn’t program the keyboard with the keys.”
Laidaws team believes that their new design will help companies, especially in industries where traditional switches are no longer a viable option.
“There are a lot of small and medium companies that are doing a lot better than the big companies and using them for a lot more work,” he says.
“If we can build a new model that works for small businesses, for smaller companies and for the big guys, then we can have a huge advantage.”