First thing’s first, the TextBlade is wonderfully tactile. If you’re anything like me, then when you aren’t typing on it you’ll be playing with it, letting the blades snap together magnetically and then nudging them apart again with your thumb. If you’re anything like me, you might also drop them when you do this.
Now, when you drop, not a compact and protected stack of TextBlade, but a single right or left keyblade from about three feet up onto a hard floor, it has the chance to pop off one of the keycaps, particularly the one on the opposite end from the steel piece. This happened to me, and it gave me a chance to admire those butterfly mechanisms hidden away under the keys. They are VERY cool, and in their own way as tactile and interesting as the TextBlade itself.
So, I’m now hoping that WayTools will at some point make a small desk toy, with a few butterfly mechanisms just so people can look at and get a feel for them. Wouldn’t need any of the electronics or incredible technology that goes into these things, just a pair of magnetically actuated levers in a plastic frame. They could have one set of butterflies exposed, no keycap, and one with a clear polycarbonate keycap.
Hang on, clear polycarbonate keycaps?
The keycaps are already made of polycarbonate, so changing the color shouldn’t affect its mechanical and electrical conductive properties enough to change how the TextBlade “sees” your touches. Just when I thought the TextBlade couldn’t get any cooler–imagine if one of the options was for clear keycaps, so that you can see the butterflies clicking away as you type. I don’t know about you folks, but I would go for that in a heartbeat! (Another advantage of clear caps is that you can see if there’s anything gunking up your TextBlade, and if the SpaceBlade is clear as well, you could see into it, which would be unique and interesting since I don’t think the top is removable, nor would you want to)
So, what do you think? Should clear keycaps and a desktop butterfly fiddle toy be options in the store? Let your voice be heard!
Oh, and as a bonus–have a picture of my TextBlade before I got the cap back on. This was also when I put the butterflies back together incorrectly, because one of the two pieces came out with the keycap.The metal bits in the center are supposed to go over-under, where I put them back in with both tabs from one side under the other tabs. Realized the problem before I put the cap on, took the photo, and redid it. Lots of fiddling with these things, so I’m now intimately familiar with them from all sorts of angles and magnifications.
P.S.: WayTools had a video showing off computer rendered butterflies on the blog, but for me at least, that video isn’t working. Anybody else had that problem? And second point, I think it would be much better to see real butterflies in action, so even if WayTools doesn’t do a production run of clear cap TextBlades just yet, I think that they should at least make one or two prototypes for a nifty video.