Possible ideas for future

It was talked about before, that it would be nice to have some sort of touch pad capability. The problem being that, with the textblade, there really isn’t much room vertically (space bar) to do the job.

But maybe it could be better than nothing, in a pinch. Especially if it could adjust based on how fast your finger moved, with a quick vertical movement moving it pretty far. Even if you had so slide your finger more than once to get where you want to be, that may be better than having nothing.

Another possibility would be a new pnoduct. For example, it might be something you can stack together, just like the three parts of the TextBlade are stacked for portability, except this would be like having three spaceblade shaped objects which magnetically lock together to form a larger block. Yeah, there would be the issue of smoothly moving across the boundary between pieces, but I think they could be designed to fit together with no serious gap and software could probably handle most of any other issues as you cross these boundaries.

Or we could go more minimalist. Such as taking something the size of an existing space blade, but cut in half. Thus, when stuck together, you would roughly get a square but with less vertical and horizontal space than what I described above.

I could easily see something like this placed above, below, or next to my textblade and it would eliminate the need to have a mouse handy.

Of course, last I checked, you couldn’t use a mouse, so I assume the same goes for a track pad, in iOS. But maybe on the TextBlade itself there could be some alternatives, depending on what Apple allows. Maybe just a way to move the focus on app screens to select an app or folder or move to another page and then select something. Wouldn’t cover use in applications, but would still be useful.


I was always intrigued by the idea of the little touchpad you put on a ring on your index finger and use with your thumb.

Then you don’t have to move your hands from home row / anywhere, and you don’t need any type of solid surface or anything to use it on.

Given that WayTools seems to be doing a pretty nice job of determining “intent” from some high resolution sensor inputs, this could be a nice match for their set of skills.

Although, I’d rather have my TextBlade first. :slight_smile:

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Nice ideas. I like the possibilities.

Riffing off the existing TextBlade design, perhaps the keyblades could remain as is and the spaceblade could simply double in depth to give you more working space (as a touchpad). Instead of stacking all three components on top of each other for travel, the two keyblades would sit side by side on top of the spaceblade. When “folded” together, the new dimensions would be the same width, double the depth, and 2/3 the height of the current design. The nanostand for such a device would actually be more stable (side to side, anyway) than the current design. All in all I think it would be a bit less elegant than the current TextBlade design, but it would provide an option for those really wanting a small integrated touchpad.

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Rather than a touch pad I think a thinkpad eraser might be better?

Interesting idea. I don’t have any experience with a ThinkPad but I know there are some people out there who really like them. There was a discussion in the WishList forum last spring about incorporating a ThinkPad eraser into the TextBlade.

WishList discussion from March, 2015

In future HW versions, the SpaceBlade could maybe double as a track pad.

Now it seems to have only 7 mappable zones: the two corners, and 5 in the middle …

There are 6 zones. One on each end and four in the middle, with a gap separating them from the end ones.

The problem with the space blade as is is the limited vertical area, though it may still me worth that sacrifice. But I don’t know if the technology in it can handle what is needed. Right now, while touch is involved, nothing happens unless you push down on a key or space.

Also, the the touch sensitivity may be skewed toward the bottom edge.
It is hard to tell if it is the sensors or just that the key needs to be depressed to register the touch and you cannot depress the SpaceBlade using only the top edge (near the KeyBlades).

That’s the one that makes sense to me, since I’m pretty sure they said the sensors were under the bottom of the other key blades. Seems like you’d do the same thing for all parts.

My suspicion is that technically this does not need to be the case, the sensors could detect you waving your hand over it (one of the diagnostics tools shows the values from the surrounding sensors as well as the one you pressed) however I think that they have deliberately required a “firm” key press to register to prevent all sorts of weird inputs

That and I’m not sure what effect the battery has on the sensors. I actually do not know if the sensors are on top of the battery or below. On top seems to make sense.

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I think the sensors were said to be sensitive enough to detect your position even when you were far away (I.e. Key not pressed). And it only gets more accurate the closer you get as you press the key.

That’s just my memory from a few months ago, though, so it’s very possible I’m wrong.

Really good point about the battery, I hadn’t thought about that. Definitely makes sense to have the sensors above the battery, seems like it would be a pain to try and get a good set of data through something like a battery.

I find that I am using the TextBlade less with my work laptop because I have a Lenovo with the little eraser nub. I find if I use my keyboard cover with the TextBlade on it on top of the laptop, it covers the nub and I get frustrated moving the mouse cursor around (I prefer the nub to the trackpad that is also present). Therefore, I tend to use the TextBlade in front of the laptop. But, more often than not I end up reflexively using the built in keyboard after I reach up to move the mouse.

I really think some sort of built in solution for mouse movement would be beneficial to the TextBlade.

I would like to be able to copy something then jump to another device and paste it!

In iOS and OS X I use the Command C app for that.

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The app I used that shares keyboard and mouse across computers also syncs clipboards. :slight_smile:

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If you are talking about TextBlade doing that for you, how big of a copy buffer do you expect the TextBlade to provide for you?

Well, bigger is always better, but even if could only hold, say, one screen worth of text, that would be quite useful. I just looked at Command C - not many reviews and half of them gave it one star! In any case, I’d still this would be nice on the TB and wouldn’t add any cost like buying Command C does.

Command C works well for me and is not a compromise solution as you are proposing. As far as the low star ratings, people have a tendency to only write poor reviews on the app store. What is even sadder is that they normally never report their precived (or real) problems to the developer before they write a poor review. To top it off the developer has no means of contacting the user unless the user reports the problem to the developer.
I just think that TextBlade memory resources could be put to better use then a copy paste buffer. I’d rather see more jumps available or some new inovative function.

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Not saying it is a compromise, though having an additional cost is a factor. We can go on forever about uses for memori. I’m all in favor of more jumps, but at what point is that more important than other things? A lot of peopse will have more than one device, but what percentage would have more than 6? But almost everyone will cut and paste sometimes.

Now, if I was ignoring what others may want, I might say that I would want jumps to cover my iphone, ipad mini, ipad pro, iMac and laptop (though I currently don’t use my old one so that’s just theorectical). So that’s five. Then, pushing things further, I might say I want two complete sets of jumps, one being for dvorak but another for qwerty in case someone else wants to use it. So that’s10. Leave two more for the odd time I need to connect to someone else’s system but don’t need it saved permanently.

Unlikely to really want to do all that, but I’m deliberately stretching things. Most would need far fewer. I could also have a number of specialized layouts, possibly just for gaming or something. But at what point does something else, that may benefit more people, take precedence? Even if I prefer something else?