Friday, March 15th 2019

Input Club Announces the Keystone Mechanical Keyboard: Hall Effect + Analog Control Switches

The Input Club Keystone Mechanical Keyboard is an unparalleled leap forward in typing and gaming technology. The Keystone combines two new keyboard features - High Definition Analog Control and per-key fast Hall Effect (magnetic) sensing - for supreme performance. Our magnetic switch technology enables near-infinite customization, billion-press durability (20x the industry standard), and analog control benefits for everyone. Full firmware programmability and RGB lighting round out its features. This project is the future of mechanical keyboards; join our waitlist to have the future of keyboards at your fingertips.

The Keystone brings novel features together to continue pushing keyboard invention further - with its SILO Hall Effect and High Definition Analog Switches. These are both keyboard switch technologies that have been produced in the past, separately, but this implementation takes them to the next level. With Hall Effect switches, instead of relying on a bending piece of metal for actuation, your keyboard tracks the movement of a magnet. This allows you to change when and where the keyboard receives the signal, while also providing a billion press switch lifespan that simply cannot be competed with.
Analog sensing is ultimate future of all input devices however - and this is the true jewel in the Keystone's crown. The switch to Analog from Digital transforms the keyboard from being a series of "On / Off" buttons into a collection of gas pedals with adjustable performance. New possibilities for gaming abound - lightly pressing WASD can let you walk in a direction, while pushing the key all the way down results in running. For typists, a half press could be a lowercase "a" and a full press a capital "A" - the possibilities abound.

The combination of these features results in the first of a generation of keyboards that will essentially make the entire market obsolete. There is absolutely no reason to buy a product with switches that do much less and last 1/20th as long, provided the price is about the same. The Keystone will launch on Kickstarter in June 2019 for early backers at a price below $100, as an effort to reward early adopters who want to help pave the way for the future of keyboards.

Input Club is a group of engineers and designers who drive innovation in the field of input devices. Our team has developed special mechanical keyswitches, open source keyboard firmware, and some of the more iconic keyboard designs to hit the marketplace. The team formed in 2014 because there was very little innovation in the keyboard space.
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23 Comments on Input Club Announces the Keystone Mechanical Keyboard: Hall Effect + Analog Control Switches

#1
AsRock
TPU addict
Erm they missed the important part of showing us these special mechanical keyswitches ?. Like come one at least some 3D rendered pictures, does sound promising.
Posted on Reply
#2
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
AsRock said:
Erm they miss th important part of showing us these special mechanical keyswitches ?. Like come one at least some 3D rendered pictures, does sound promising.
Eh just put a magnetic field near them lol
Posted on Reply
#3
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
AsRock said:
Erm they miss th important part of showing us these special mechanical keyswitches ?. Like come one at least some 3D rendered pictures, does sound promising.
Very likely more info on the switches will be out sooner than later. I know they are planning to have a linear, tactile, and tactile + clicky switch version available, for example.
Posted on Reply
#4
wolar
Just search for hall effect switches, they are old but these should be similar.
Good quality of these switches are insanely durable and reliable, but i don't expect that level of quality here tbh.
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#5
Mescalamba
Wooting makes analog switches. Currently they selling Wooting Two (or pre-selling).
Posted on Reply
#6
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
Mescalamba said:
Wooting makes analog switches. Currently they selling Wooting Two (or pre-selling).
Flaretech makes those switches, which were co-developed with Wooting's help. Another analog switch option on the market is via Aimpad, as described here: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Cooler_Master/MK850/
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#8
TheLostSwede
VSG said:
Flaretech makes those switches, which were co-developed with Wooting's help. Another analog switch option on the market is via Aimpad, as described here: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Cooler_Master/MK850/
Aimpad is way too expensive to implement on a whole keyboard though, hence why only a few keys support it. It doesn't seem to be as fine grained as some other technologies.

I backed Wooting and got my two a few days ago. Haven't really used the analogue part as yet, but they keyboard feels different to analogue keyboards. The Wooting switches are a custom made Flaretech switches though, as the original ones weren't good enough for what Wooting is doing with them. The Two apparently have improved switches compared to the One as well.

I also have a Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile with speed switches, which I really like as a keyboard, but the speed switches are impossible to use for proper typing, as I get double or triple letters a lot of the time, as they switches are just too sensitive. The low profile switches are otherwise much more comfortable to type on than traditional mechanical keyboards, especially combined with lower profile key caps.

I'm not a keyboard expert and to be honest, I mostly backed Wooting because I met the guys at Computex and they came across as very honest guys that are looking at doing something different. So far I'd say the keyboard is decent, but not mind blowing. That is using as just a keyboard though and I'm going to have to spend some time with the analogue aspects of it to see what it can really do before I make proper judgement about the product.

I'm curious about the new switches mentioned for the keyboard in the article and if it'll really be a $100 or there abouts, I might back them to see what it's like. Hall effect sensors can easily be interfered with though, so I'm curious how the keyboard will work near speakers, headphones, mobile phones etc. which all have magnets in them.
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#9
bogami
Something new, but do not rejoice too fast. . Also, the buttons with light-switching operation are despised. They are here, but they are not taken as the mechanical keys regardless of their advantages.
And I will not change the keyboard, because it's too expensive , and when my Hiperex aloy is served, better products will be available.
Posted on Reply
#10
randomUser
I need a wireless full keyboard with Cherry MX silent RED or BLACK switches, no RGB and at least 3 programmable keys, which is powered with AA or AAA batteries and works at least 12 months on single charge.

Is there any keyboard out there that matches these requirements?
Posted on Reply
#11
AsRock
TPU addict
eidairaman1 said:
Eh just put a magnetic field near them lol
That be the Chinese version.

Copper's not magnetic


VSG said:
Very likely more info on the switches will be out sooner than later. I know they are planning to have a linear, tactile, and tactile + clicky switch version available, for example.
You would think but dam but this is like waving bacon at some one, but without the bacon.

I would of liked to see a Solenoid type, although i believe the power usage would be to great., space probably be another issue too, although it would not be variable either.
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#12
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
AsRock said:
That be the Chinese version.

Copper's not magnetic




You would think but dam but this is like waving bacon at some one, but without the bacon.

I would of liked to see a Solenoid type, although i believe the power usage would be to great., space probably be another issue too, although it would not be variable either.
Doesn't matter what element of metal is used to produce a flux wave, magnets can induce their flux wave into devices via induction, thus interfere with them.

Some say the mechanical kb is a niche market, my mx brown is 4 years old, no problems, probably won't be for my life time.
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#13
lynx29
i backed the wooting two on kickstarter. black switches are perfect for analog... much more degree of control in-game, when sneaking especially in a game like Dishonored
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#14
R-T-B
VSG said:
Flaretech makes those switches, which were co-developed with Wooting's help. Another analog switch option on the market is via Aimpad, as described here: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Cooler_Master/MK850/
It's things like your knowledge that remind me why I still come to techpowerup...

Thanks for doing such a great job.
Posted on Reply
#16
lemonadesoda
Putting your phone down near those Hall Effect switches could cause havok.
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#17
Khonjel
Can anyone explain to me the usefulness of analog switches except for setting up personal/custom actuation point? I mean sure some will say gaming but aren't we already ingrained with digital keypresses? And racing games where it works best, gamepads are already best.

And can you change the tactile point too?
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#18
R-T-B
lemonadesoda said:
Putting your phone down near those Hall Effect switches could cause havok.
Does your phone usually come loaded with magnets?

AFAIK the only phone that would be a real issue is the moto mod stuff from Motorola, which uses magnets to hook on "mods"

Khonjel said:
I mean sure some will say gaming but aren't we already ingrained with digital keypresses?
Yes, but the whole idea is to break out of that mold and factor in "how hard is x being pressed?"
Posted on Reply
#19
AmioriK
How much will this cost? And it's functionally better than my mechanical feel no name Chinese keyboard that cost a tenner in what way exactly? The only expensive keyboard I owned was gigabyte aivia osmium mechanical for £120 when I got it, but I smashed it up and threw out my window after the macro got stuck. ._.

In hindsight probably shouldn't have done that.
Posted on Reply
#20
Caring1
As an experiment just prove it can be done, great, but from a practical view, useless.
People would have to be robots to vary pressure accurately as they type or game, stuffing around in settings to vary actuation points for each activity seems like it will reduce productivity.
Keep it in the lab boys, it will never fly.
Posted on Reply
#21
TheLostSwede
Caring1 said:
As an experiment just prove it can be done, great, but from a practical view, useless.
People would have to be robots to vary pressure accurately as they type or game, stuffing around in settings to vary actuation points for each activity seems like it will reduce productivity.
Keep it in the lab boys, it will never fly.
Huh? You on a bad trip out something? It already works on Wooting's keyboards as well as CM's in a limited fashion. This might be different technology, but a similar concept.
Posted on Reply
#22
tigger
I'm the only one
TheLostSwede said:
I also have a Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile with speed switches, which I really like as a keyboard, but the speed switches are impossible to use for proper typing, as I get double or triple letters a lot of the time, as they switches are just too sensitive.
I have a k60 with reds i think, and i am constantly mis typing and getting 2 or 3 of the same letter
Posted on Reply
#23
TheLostSwede
tigger said:
I have a k60 with reds i think, and i am constantly mis typing and getting 2 or 3 of the same letter
Hmmm, so you're saying this might be a Corsair keyboard issue? I thought it was related to the speed switches.
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