#567: Soundboard

Yesterday I found that it’s all too possible to pay £60 for a keyboard (the ‘p’ on one of mine broke and rendered the whole thing economically unfixable). I don’t even like keyboards.

Today’s invention is a simplified, low cost version. Think of a conventional computer keyboard but this is made from a single piece of (eco-friendly, sustainable) wood. The keys therefore don’t depress but all the surface features of a normal board are present. This allows all the usual nailclippings and food remnants to be caught on the board and simply brushed off into the bin.

In order to actually control your computer, each key has a blind hole drilled into the back. The depth of each hole is unique to the key in question. When someone types on any given key, the air column in the hole vibrates, in a characteristic way -just like an organ pipe (and largely independent of the force with which the key has been struck).

A microphone embedded in the board would allow the machine to identify which key had been tapped. Ctrl and Caps Lock functions etc could be arranged by hinging the board at the rear edge and allowing the front edge to rise above the desktop to one of several different heights -thus modifying mechanically the depth of all the blind holes.

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