Starfield interview with ex-Bethesda developer

Only one thing scares the journalists at TechCrunch more than the arrival of April 1. Since I’ll come right out and say it, nobody in the tech business has a sense of humour. In contrast, it appears that we may have identified the first known exception in Google Japan with their ongoing series of absurd keyboards, where they absolutely commit to the joke.

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The most up-to-date model is the “Gboard Bar Version,” (or stick version depending on the translation), a keyboard measuring about 1.6 metres feet in length (reduced from 2.4 metres in the prototype) and featuring a “one-dimensional QWERTY layout” in which the letters and numbers are laid out horizontally from left to right. You can select between the standard alphabet, the ASCII code set, or the katakana alphabet.

The designers promise that you will no longer need to manually locate each key. I can tell you right now that the letter G is located 16 positions to the left on this keyboard, which is quite handy. This is a breeze!

It’s also more comfortable to use:

You may stretch your arms in secret at the office while using this keyboard because of the way it is designed. The team notes, “Pressing the rightmost and leftmost keys at the same moment may cause you to stretch your legs.”

Starfield interview
Starfield interview

You can use it as a walking stick when you need to feel the grass beneath your feet, and you can use it as a teaching device to flip on a light switch across the room. For a tonne of other silly but hilarious applications, check out the video below:

Due to the fact that there are 101 keys, I believe it was published on September 1. The joke is funnier because it wasn’t published on a typical day for gags.

On the other hand, this isn’t the first time the Gboard team has proposed a “new input.” This thread has been going on for a decade, and while it may have begun as a simple Morse Code input technique, it has since become quite involved. Some of them work better than others, but even if you think the spoon-bending one goes a little too far, the genesis video is impressive. I always enjoy a good spoof, and this one of overly serious product arcs is no exception:

If you didn’t know better, you could believe the Tegaki “physical handwriting” keyboard was a genuine thing. It’s basically a real-world counterpart of the swiping used on the real Gboard and others. I’m fairly certain I’ve seen a method of cursor control like this previously.

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Several of the forms, like this keyboard with tilting keys, are ingenious and impressive in their simplicity and functionality.

If you’re curious about its function, here it is (Google translated from Japanese): The kanji for fish appear on the keyboard’s 50 keys in a syllabary layout. Characters are input by fish-kanji conversion instead of an alphabet, which consists of horse mackerel, sardines, eels, ei, and ooze in a sushi configuration. Extremely nimble.

This was definitely a fun project for the crew, and they went to great lengths to implement it; the source code and blueprints are available on this site.

Although this is certainly not breaking news for our Japanese readers, I must admit that I had not heard about it until now. And I feel the opposite of April 1st being the greatest moment to promote this delightful piece of work from a team that seems to be witty and dedicated in equal measure.

Read more:-

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