Backlit TextBlade

any chance TextBlade can be backlit? Would be a happy help in dark or lowlight conditions.


I totally second that wish: backlit TextBlade. :smiley:


We’ll probably have to wait for a TextBlade 2 for this one. There’s only so many revolutionary things that can be done in V1 before you need to call it a day and get the product out.

Backlighting would definitely be cool, there’s no question about that, but I’m happy to wait for it appear in TextBlade 2 while I enjoy what I expect will be a very sweet TextBlade 1 :slight_smile:


I had often considered either backlighting or illuminated keycap characters. Although touch-typing familiarity renders viewing a keyboard unnecessary. Typing with eyes closed really helps to fix muscle memory. Even today, I probably couldn’t verbally explain where each letter is (Dvorak), but neither have I labeled them on my QWERTY board.

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Great thoughts and commentary by all. Thank you.

OK, this answer might be different from what you imagined, but hopefully, you find it responsive to the underlying need.

This is actually a topic we’ve thought a good deal about.

It is not complicated to put LEDs into the keys for illumination. (Our SpaceBlade in fact has 10 LEDs embedded beneath its key surface). It would, however, use 10 times the power of the keyboard itself.

When we studied this, we asked what the end goal was, and what was the most effective and elegant form to achieve it.

The job is to know where an uncommon symbol may be, or what key we’re selecting, even in total darkness.

The traditional way is an illuminated legend. But now, things change dramatically when a keyboard is designed around your fingers, instead of the machine.

When you can truly reach everything by feel, you eventually stop looking - which is the reason we made the thing. The instrument fades into the background, and you focus on your writing. When you get into this zone, it’s sort of transformative. Writing this now, (listening to Django Reinhardt), my fingers fly forward, and they just know what to do. I don’t actually look at my TextBlade much at all. My fingers are all over it, covering it, and I am in the zone, writing.

When we’re in this scene, a tablet or phone with a TextBlade in front of it, we already have the best illuminators in the world - a beautiful retina screen, with rich graphics. LED’s in plastic simply can’t match that. So when we momentarily want labels for our eyes, we want them in front of our eyes, not under our fingertips. And when we see it, our fingers are already in place, and we just strike.

So if you can get a label prompt whenever you need it, without lifting your fingers off the keys and reorienting, it’s quite a bit better. As you acclimate, you gradually just quit gesturing for the prompt altogether.

This also makes it not matter much whether your keys are printed at all, regardless of language. That’s the power of MultiMap with temporal labels on screen.

We actually find it to be a pretty awesome step forward.


I take your points, of course: indeed, I sense an awesome breakthrough: as I learn to use TextBlade, its MultiKey will be new but similar to touchtype already learned on a more clumsy keyboard. Already I appreciate the ease of typing without looking. Surely you are leading us to use a greatly advanced thinking implement, for that is what you have invented.

I look forward to it. Now, if I can but order one . . . :blush:

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Order two; they’re small…

I probably should have picked up on this somewhere else in the information, but what is a “label prompt”?

earldrake, my impression is that a label prompt might be an on-screen keyboard layout representing the characters that can be called up by a simple keyboard ‘gesture.’ I’m reminded that on the iMac I’m using, I can enable a feature called “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar,” which puts an icon in the menu bar. Clicking the icon calls up (for instance) a Keyboard Viewer–a graphic representation the keyboard keys onscreen. The layout and animations of key strokes as well as changes by modifier keys are then displayed. The feature helps me to see what is available and which finger to use to select an elusive character.

Speculation on my part…I haven’t found a video (or still photo) demonstrating the label prompt feature.

Thanks, brotherlea. That certainly makes sense.

Brotherlea has it right. Thanks for posting that.

MultiMap can push a key map graphic up on the screen in response to a gesture or other action on TextBlade.

It’s temporally managed, so it’s only there briefly, and in the context when you’d need it. If you hold the symbol shift for example, but don’t select a symbol right away, it pushes up the symbol legends to help, and then goes away when you strike one.

So it’s pretty smart about prompting only when you need it, and avoiding visual noise when you don’t.

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Is this working with all OSes?
iOS and Mac to be specific.

Charmaex - iOS first, then we’ll get OSX, Android, WIN.

Wish we could do them all instantly, but once the foundation is ready in iOS, the others will be easier to code and deploy.


Pls correct me if I’m wrong. Are you saying that TextBlade will be working with iOS first? Other OS support (e.g. OS X, Android) will be implemented later?

Daniel - TextBlade is already tested and working with iOS, Android, and OSX. They all work great right now.

The post above was referring to the MultiMap editor app.

Since keymaps are stored in the flash of the device, you can use say, iOS to create a map, and then use the map on the other platforms even before their is a native form of the editor.


Thanks waytools. Sorry I missed the context.

Btw any update on hands-on event last week? I can’t wait to touch TextBlade :smile:

Of course, you can’t use say, iOS to create a map if you don’t have say, an iOS device. Perhaps this should be a caveat when promising Android support.

Maggie - that’s true, if you never have access to an iOS device.

But even a few minutes with a friend’s iphone will allow you to map any keyboard make and break code as needed, and then store it in TextBlade’s flash for use with your Android device from then on.

So in practice, even before the Android version of MultiMap is available, you can still create custom maps for Android.

The caveat regarding access is certainly fair, but there are a lot of iPhones around, so it’s not too bad of a limitation.

Let’s note that in another thread you’ve offered a free App Store code to anybody who buys MultiMap but doesn’t have iOS devices so they can look for a friend to bother. :smile: