Re: Chord Boards

Dan Clemmensen (
Fri, 02 Jul 1999 21:06:46 -0400

Elizabeth Childs wrote:
> I have heard about a keyboard that could be designed that would be one
> step beyond the Dvorak. It would have just one row of keys, and key
> combinations would signify the letters. So keys 1 and 5 together could
> represent "B", keys 3, 7 and 8 could represent @, and so forth. The
> name of this idea is a "chord board".
> So far as I know, one has never been produced, and a web search turned
> up MIDI stuff. Maybe I have the wrong name. But I was thinking this
> would make a great interface for a wearable keyboard - a pressure
> sensitive glove would allow you to type while playing "air piano".
> Any thoughts?

I've been a computer hobbyist for a long time. In the late '70s, Byte magazine had a construction article on such a device, and the software to run it. the device was a hemisphere with the diameter of a tennis ball. It had two buttons per finger, one under the fingertip and one under the portion of finger nearest the palm. It had several buttons for the thumb. The idea was that the finger position didn't change much.

There was a kit, also, with the buttons, the plastic hemisphere, and other stuff. The user was supposed to customize the button positions to fit the user's hand, so the device was personalized. users claimed very high keying speeds, and the device was much cheaper than a keyboard. keyboards weren't cheap back then.