Keyboard Comfort, Safety, and Productivity Through Ergonomically Responsive Design
- With Tactilely Differentiated Keying Action and Softer Key Touch
DataHand® key movement feels totally different than key activation movement on any other keyboard. Other keyboards require
gravity enhanced, downward, percussive actions against an increasing physical resistance to activate each key.
DataHand key activation causes a low force magnet to break away at the top of the stroke. This characteristic provides
unique feel to the task of keyboard work. Once the magnetic break occurs, the finger forces decline over the rest of the stroke—until the key reaches the bottom of its travel
distance. DataHand keystrokes are shorter, lighter, and highly differentiated compared to keystrokes on other keyboards.
In the above illustration the bump at the right side of the DataHand force curve represents the bottoming of the key at
the end of its stroke. Because the required letters, numbers, symbols, or functions have been typed before the key hits bottom, and because the fingers do not feel increasing
resistance, they recognize only a mild stop at the end of the stroke—not a stressful hit against the tips of the fingers. These often overly forceful hits can have negative
impact on the musculoskeletal systems of the hand, wrist, and arm. A few of these during the day would not cause problems, but tens or hundreds of thousands of such finger stresses
each day can result in serious, sometimes even permanent injury.
The DataHand finger motion is very different from the aggressive staccato punching of the keys typical in the operation
of other keyboards. Inasmuch as the fingers do not face an increasing force as they activate keys on the DataHand ergonomic keyboard, they do not tend to over-activate the keys in
the way they do when percussively operating other keyboards. Experienced DataHand operators develop a gentle, light pattern of movement as their fingers move among distinctively
differentiated motions to activate each key. The DataHand keying movement is different, in part, because finger travel distance is greatly reduced. Reduced finger travel and softer
DataHand touch go together to make the DataHand keyboard more safe, comfortable, and productive.
DataHand users work quickly with much less athletic exertion. Often, they do not realize just how quickly and efficiently
they are working. Sometimes, it seems inconceivable that work is happening as rapidly as it is. Many people tend to equate accomplishment with the amount of motion expended. When
they are confronted with a truly ergonomic keyboard design which makes keyboard work much more user friendly and easy, they can be incredulous when informed of their own
So much less motion occurs when working on a DataHand keyboard, it seems counter-intuitive to people that productive work
could actually be happening. After workers learn the touch and the pattern of motion required to perform DataHand work, they frequently have to take a timed test to correctly know
the operating speed they have been able to achieve in words per minute. A standard typing tutorial program can be used to measure performance on the DataHand keyboard.
The reduced amount of motion goes together with the reduced DataHand keyforces. DataHand keyforces range between 18-24
grams, compared with keyforces on other keyboards ranging between 55-100 grams—although some keyboard manufacturers have reduced their required keyforces to make them less
than the probable threshold of injury established by medical researchers. This threshold has been set at 48 grams. DataHand keyforces are less than half of the average minimum
required keyforces on other keyboards.
In conclusion, workers find the experience of typing on a DataHand keyboard gentle and relaxing compared to the
fatiguing, more intense athletic activity of typing on other keyboards. Understandably, these things may have to be experienced to be believed. DataHand Systems hopes every keyboard
worker will soon avail themselves of the opportunity to enjoy the more comfortable and productive DataHand keyboarding experience.