SOMATO makes keyboard keys rise up, demand to be felt by budding typists

Many educators agree that the influx of new technology in school over the past 10 to 15 years has led to a decrease in the quality of handwriting.

To the team behind SOMATO, this is troubling because it’s indicative of a loss of tactile character recognition — essentially, how cognitively involved people are in the act of typing. To address the declining connection between our physical and mental processes when composing words, keycaps with raised bump structures were developed to be used on any physical QWERTY keyboard.

SOMATO makes it so that there’s something to be felt when people type, adding a dimension of touch to an action that currently has no way of recognizing the differences between key strokes. The team claims a 40 percent reduction in mistakes and an increase in typing speed after just a two minutes of use — a tall claim but one they’re confident about. A SOMATO goes for $179 with an expected ship date of January 2016. The campaign is looking for $10,000 by November 7th, 2015.

SOMATO has noble intentions but the campaign doesn’t link to any validation of the its claims. In addition, as commonplace physical keyboards are, SOMATO currently does nothing for the abundance of touchscreen keyboards out in the wild. Although they offer a Bluetooth variant, it still necessitates the carry and use of that external keyboard. With schools as its main target, it may see success. Other scenarios may be tougher to crack.

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