#233: Mechanical magnifier

Inevitably with the volume of texting which occurs, people are now starting to complain about repetitive strain injury to their thumbs and fingers.

Conventional keypads have a lot to answer for, as has the tendency among designers to cram in as much functionality as possible on a thumbprint-sized area. What is really needed is a full-sized keyboard which can magically still allow one’s superslick phone or pda to slip into the briefest of pockets.

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Today’s invention addresses exactly this problem. An aftermarket accessory would be made available consisting of a bag of stalks, perhaps 30mm in length (although keen people could trim theirs for optimal use). On one end of each stalk would be a small adhesive pad -on the other end, a fingertip-sized, moulded-in button.

When attached (temporarily, for a serious texting session) by adhesive pads to the keys on the keyboard, the stalks would be capable of small, independent, axial movements to drive the keys They would splay outwards from the phone pad forming a new, scaled up version of the original one -but requiring much less dexterity/concentration and finger pressure.

The stalks might be conical in form, allowing them to be neatly nested when not in use, The buttons could be made transparent so the underlying keys could remain visible (or opaque so that letter stickers, supplied as part of the kit, could be applied as needed).

Also good for glove-wearing phone users.

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