Gboard is a virtual keyboard available on Android & iOS devices. Gboard replaces your default keyboard and includes some cool new features such as Multilingual typing, built-in Google search and much more. Google Japan worked on this concept and now have unveiled a new Gboard bar. However, this time, all the keys are aligned horizontally on a large board. Don’t worry, Google have an explanation for this approach.
The New Era of Keyboards
Google Japan in their video states that up until now, we have just focused on the ‘key’ in keyboard. It is time we move on to the next phase. Keyboard in Japanese translates to ‘キーボード‘ or kii-bou-do. Here the second character, ‘ボ‘ (bou) means a bar. This is the direct insipiration for the new Gboard design.
As shown above, all keys are placed in a horizontal format. A total of 17 boards are connected in a straight line for this keyboard. The overall length exceeds 1600mm or 160cm (1.6m). The width is around 0.064m (6.4cm) offering convenience and ease of use as per Google.
The actual prototye spanned across 2400mm (2.4m), so the final design is a shortened version. What’s the need, you may ask? Well, Google states that it is often hard to find a specific key say ‘G’. This keyboard is useful in that case since you know that ‘G’ lies exactly at the 16th spot from the left.
Yes, this was a joke. Google is not going to be mass-producing walking stick like keyboards. While this is an interesting design, it is not practical in any way. Firstly, moving across 26 keys horizontally is not an easy task considering you’d have to do it many times on a day-to-day basis. Secondly, the length of this thing is much larger what most would consider ‘comfortable’. All in all, it does give keyboard enthusiasts new and exciting ideas.