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Hands-Free Computing Goes to a Whole New Level

Posted on 8th Jul 2011 @ 2:56 PM

Way back in the Pleistocene era, we soothed our carpal tunnel syndrome by using a headset and voice recognition software, while sitting in our cushy ergonomic chair. These are still viable options for folks who need to give their digits a rest, but now there's an entirely new way to type without using your hands. Please meet KMI SoftStep KeyWorx controller: hands-free computing ... for your feet.


The KeyWorx controller comes in two parts. One part, resembling a keyboard, sits under the desk and is controlled by your feet. The other part contains ten large buttons -- numbered zero to nine -- and a four-way directional arrow. According to KMI, "these keys are pressure- and location-sensitive and can be programmed to remember up to 100 sets of commands. The cursor/click control key enables users to keep their hands on the keyboard without having to touch the mouse."



- No mouse = reduced chance of carpal tunnel syndrome.

- Varying movement between the floor keyboard and the desk keyboard also reduces the odds of wearing out your joints.

- Compatible with Windows or Mac.

- Looks like something out of a sci-fi movie (Make all your nerd friends jealous between conventions!)

- Makes you look twice as busy and important, going back and forth between your two input devices. (Sort of the way an organist looks busier than a piano player.)



- Typing with our feet is kind of gross. Would we need to be barefoot? That seems like it would squick out our neighbors (at the very least). At best, it could be an excellent chance to pass Athlete's Foot around the office, unless you instituted a no-sharing policy.

- No more carpal tunnel-related excuses for missing work. And since we know people who have stretched out a carpal tunnel leave to two whole months, this could be a big deal.

- Doesn't look as much like Dance Dance Revolution as we'd hoped. Now that would be fun!

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