Keyboard Builders' Digest
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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Inspiration

Grabbity Gloves

Introducing the Grabbity Gloves by loopsbellart.

Fellow builder loopsbellart wanted to do something different for his first build. The result turned out to continue in the footsteps of the DataHand, Lalboard (featured in KBD #21) or the Azeron gamepad.

The inspiration came from looking at different keyboard layouts. One of the most important metric when analyzing a layout is finger travel, so there comes the obligate question: what would happen if we moved the keys to our fingers instead of moving your fingers to the keys. Then every key could be on the "home row".

The resulting device is the Grabbity Gloves, which gets its name from the gravity gloves from Half Life Alyx. All the keys are already touching (or nearly touching) your fingers, and are actuated by moving your finger in a certain direction.

A short video of the Grabbity Gloves in action:

The keyboard is fully wireless and is running the BlueMicro firmware. The 65g springs were replaced with 35g ones as they were too fatiguing to press in the forward direction.

The layout is a slightly modified QWERTY: the diagonal keys (TYBN) moved to where the punctuation would be (semicolon, dot, comma, slash). This gives some room for future improvements with real custom logical layouts.

I'm glad I see a built-in trackball on the right side so you don't have to move your hand to the mouse and back. Repositioning your right hand with this kind of keyboards every time after using a mouse would ruin the whole typing experience.

Overall I'm very satisfied with the placement of everything; it fits my hands very well. I'm coming from a standard keyboard with a PB typing speed of 141 WPM. After using this for about 30 minutes the best I've gotten is 38 WPM, but I hope to improve that over time – loopsbellart.

Published on Mon 9th Aug 2021. Featured in KBD #38 (source).


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