MWSF: Half Keyboards to appear

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Matias Corp. will roll out a Mac version of its Half Keyboard for Macs at next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

The Half Keyboard's patented skill transfer design lets you touch type with one hand, using existing skills, and purportedly at speeds up to 88 percent of normal typing rates. The reasoning is that typing with one hand leaves the other hand free for a pen or mouse, letting you more easily enter both text and graphics.

And as its name suggests, the product is the left half of a standard keyboard. You type with your left hand, just like touch-typing on a normal keyboard. For the letters of the missing (right) half, hold down the spacebar and then do the same finger movement normally done by the other hand. Hitting the spacebar alone still types a space.

Since one-handed touch-typing uses the same finger movements as standard two-handed typing, little or no retraining is required for touch typists to use the keyboard, according to Edgar Matias, inventor of the Half Keyboard. Their existing skills simply transfer, he adds.

Matias says he's "very proud" to have the Half Keyboard available on the Mac platform. The idea was conceived in 1984, the same year the Macintosh debuted, and the very first prototypes were implemented on a Macintosh 512.

"Without the Mac, I wouldn't be here today," Matias said in a press announcement.

At next week's expo, Matias Corp. will also show its wearable model of the Half Keyboard, which turns a Palm OS handheld into a wrist-worn wearable computer.

The Half Keyboard retails for US $99. The Wearable Half Keyboard retails for US$199. Both versions can be bought from the company's Web site where a free software demo is also available.

This story, "MWSF: Half Keyboards to appear" was originally published by PCWorld.

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