A year after introducing the “teacup version”, Google Japan is back with a new physical form factor for Android’s default keyboard app: the Gboard bar.
This “Gboard bar” arranges the keys in a straight line “so you don’t have to look around”. It’s said to be “extremely simple” and is 1650mm long or just under 65 inches. The advantage is that it takes up very little vertical space on the desk, which “makes it practical even on desks where documents are stacked”.
The official spec sheet says the width is “wide enough for a cat to walk through,” while the height is simply a “comfortable thickness.”
In terms of functionality, there’s joint input and the ability to use it as a bugnet with the “bug remover module”:
- If two people share the device and use it, they can input characters at high speed at the same time. It is also recommended for pair programming where two people face the same problem.
- If you attach a bug remover mod, you can quickly turn it into a bug remover stick. By taking advantage of its elongated shape, it can be used in a variety of situations.
The wildest thing about it announcement is how you can create one with instructions on Github.
Google Japan has a fondness for Gboard and keyboard-related April Fool’s jokes, even if the wider business no longer celebrates. There was a device in 2018 that let you swipe on a physical keyboard as if you were interacting with a touchscreen, while 2019 was character input based on how far you bend a spoon. The latter appears in today’s video as a cameo. The full list of projects includes:
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