Tired of your mouse and keyboard interface? FingerWorks, Inc. has developed a series of keyboards that replace your traditional input methods with combinations of finger gestures and hand movements. The company’s latest product is the MacNTouch Gesture Keyboard, which was announced on Tuesday. It’s aimed at the G4 line of PowerBooks as well as iBooks from the dual-USB model onward.
“People are amazed by all the things a hand gesture user interface provides,” said Jeff Green, sales manager for FingerWorks. He also supplied a comment from a MacNTouch owner: “It’s like one of those keyboards you see on Star Trek.”
The Gesture Keyboard replaces the keyboard and track pad currently in your laptop. You keep your hands on it at all times, typing when necessary and performing gestures that replace such mouse functions as point, click, drag scroll; the keyboard itself is the track pad. It comes with utilities that allow you to map gestures to functions you commonly use in your favorite applications, including a utility called XWinder that allows you to move and resize windows in one step.
If you’re partial to a DVORAK keyboard layout, you can choose that for your Gesture Keyboard instead of the traditional QWERTY set-up. It requires one USB port and quickly drops straight into 15-inch Titanium PowerBooks, 12-inch Aluminum PowerBooks, and 12-inch White iBooks, starting with the dual-USB model.
FingerWorks notes on their Web site that installing the keyboard in a 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook takes about half an hour and requires opening the computer; they have instructions on their site that you can download. If you have a 17-inch Aluminum PowerBook or a 14-inch iBook G4 that you’d like to use the Gesture Keyboard with, the company asks that you contact them.