Best project or innovation

Best project or innovation

Poll ended at 10 Dec 2016, 21:00

XMIT Hall Effect keyboards
56
20%
Model MF
60
21%
:~$ynth
56
20%
HaaTa's force curve gauge
56
20%
Ellipse's Model F replicas
52
19%
 
Total votes: 280

Rimrul

04 Dec 2016, 01:32

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Sponsored by:
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Vote in this round for a chance at winning a keyboard of your choice from WASD keyboards!

Round 3 rules:
Please vote to determine the best project or innovation of 2016.

The final round ends on Saturday 10 December, 20:00 UTC. You can change your vote until the end of the round by resubmitting the poll. The winner and full results will be released soon after the vote closes.

Official nominees:

XMIT Hall Effect keyboards
XMIT revived an ancient contactless switch technology in a modern format with MX compatible sliders. The result is a modern keyboard that should survive ridiculous amounts of keypresses.

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Model MF
Based on theI dollars FSSK/FEXT project, lot_lizard created a full drop-in Model F replacement for the Model M. This includes a custom plate, a new FSSK/FEXT PCB and Model F barrels, which keep the feel as close as possible to original F designs.

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:~$ynth
Binge/HWS simplified artisan keycap creation with the :~$ynth. Its low cost and high quality should encourage a new generation of injection mold artists to join the artisan movement.

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HaaTa's force curve gauge
HaaTa was tired of subjective reviews, so he took matters into his own hands. The result is a completely objective measurement system with high precision, accuracy, and granularity. Accurate force curve graphs will soon flood the Deskthority wiki!

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Ellipse's Model F replicas
Ellipse is known for reviving a switch technology, but his original cases for 4704 keyboards are keeping the project relevant. His project is most famous for its 4704 replicas.

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Tesel

04 Dec 2016, 04:54

I can't repeat enough times how cool the hall effect switches are!

User avatar
Halvar

04 Dec 2016, 08:54

I agree about the probable awesomeness of the hall effect keyboard, but if we award them, imo this innovation wingnut should go to the company ACE PAD TECH who makes them, not to the first westerner who 'discovered' them, which seems a bit 14th century. I know - I should have nominated them.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Dec 2016, 14:10

Halvar wrote: I agree about the probable awesomeness of the hall effect keyboard, but if we award them, imo this innovation wingnut should go to the company ACE PAD TECH who makes them, not to the first westerner who 'discovered' them, which seems a bit 14th century. I know - I should have nominated them.
I feel like I've worked really hard on these, not just discovered them.

MrsXMIT has seen first hand just how many late nights, weekends, emails to manufacturing, keyboard samples, etc. it takes to turn an idea into a product. She also knows just how awful the first samples were. She was my first tester and declared the first board unusable.

I could have designed and built these Hall boards from scratch but instead of reinventing the wheel I decided to partner with a manufacturer to bring the community a solid product. Check the forums - there are enough refinements to the boards that are the direct result of my testing and feedback that I feel comfortable taking a bunch of credit here.

I'm some weird combination of chief architect, product manager, salesperson, and distributor for these boards. That is a result of the facts that I'm maniacal about details, and this is all a really small operation.

There are some exciting developments in the works that I don't want to give away yet.

I agree that due credit should go to the manufacturers as well as FoxWolf1 on GH for helping me discover the tech and Das Keyboard for holding a meetup, as well as all the testers. But I feel they've already gotten some recognition. The manufacturer got an order for 1000+ boards! The testers got to keep their boards. I'm going to do something nice for Das, too early to reveal.

(edited for brevity and clarity)
Last edited by XMIT on 05 Dec 2016, 13:37, edited 1 time in total.

Menuhin

04 Dec 2016, 14:48

Is it like this every year??
It is so difficult to vote just one - even many of the nominees are real cool projects.

User avatar
Halvar

04 Dec 2016, 15:31

EDIT: Sorry, I just found out about the Massdrop GB. I don't follow Massdrop, and actually thought the GB for this was in the future.

I understand better now why this GB could warrant an award for you this year, XMIT, namely for your contribution to the tech and the GB.

I still have my problems with the text

"XMIT revived an ancient contactless switch technology in a modern format with MX compatible sliders. The result is a modern keyboard that should survive ridiculous amounts of keypresses."

There was a product on the market in China at the start of the thread. So it's Designed in China, improved in the USA, manufactured in China, sold in the USA. And the huge "XMIT keyboards" logo is well worth some trolling.

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

04 Dec 2016, 16:19

Does turning an unusable product into a usable one count as reviving a technology?

I think so. I'd say the stock product was like an old guy in cardiac arrest. Poor quality would've deterred most buyers, even after the product became well known in the West.

XMIT gave it an adrenaline shot to the heart and slapped some paddles on that sucker (read: he fixed its issues), ultimately reviving it.

Revivals in music happen all the time. Does the musical style disappear entirely? Nope. It just becomes less popular or gets sidelined by other developments for a while. The artists who start playing the music again didn't invent it, but they're credited with reviving it.

So, after a few metaphors that may or may not be mixed, I'm allowing the text to stay as-is.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Dec 2016, 16:23

Well, I didn't propose that text. (I guess I didn't veto it, either.) Perhaps strike "revived" and replace with "worked to re-introduce".

If you missed the Massdrop group buy perhaps you also missed this article, where I talk in depth about my contributions. There is even an unflattering photo of me.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/xmit-h ... 33060.html

I like to say that the board is "Designed in the US, Made in China". That's my view since the boards are built to my specification. If you, for example, buy one of these boards and enjoy the detachable cable, Cherry style stabilizers, or relatively upstroke damped sliders, that's my doing.

The logo is a separate matter. It is not universally liked. I will say that the logo and branding have enabled me to spot and address some invalid review feedback from other non-XMIT boards from the same manufacturer. Also, the branding will likely become more subtle in future versions (specifically, moving from the top of the keyboard to the front).

But please, let's not turn this into a duplicate of this thread:

keyboards-f2/chinese-usb-hall-effect-ke ... 51-60.html

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

04 Dec 2016, 16:38

Halvar wrote:
the first westerner who 'discovered' them, which seems a bit 14th century.
The category title is "project or innovation"

Reviving a decades-old technology and putting it back into production is not an "innovation" so that leaves "project"

This event, to my eyes, looks like 2 projects: (1) putting 1960s-70s technology back into production, and (2) making it palatable and attractive in the 21st century. XMIT was not responsible for the first part, but he deserves huge recognition for the 2nd.

Back-and-forth across the Pacific Ocean in terms of development and production has been going on for a long time.

User avatar
webwit
Wild Duck

04 Dec 2016, 17:01

If only there would be a place where people could vote on this matter and how they feel about the nominations and who deserves it most.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Dec 2016, 17:17

fohat wrote: putting 1960s-70s technology back into production
Hall sensors never went /out/ of production. Do you have a recent Macbook? If so congrats - a Hall sensor in the base detects a magnet in the lid to determine when the lid is closed.

Why just a quick search on Diki-Key reveals thousands of options:

http://www.digikey.com/product-search/e ... l%20sensor

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

04 Dec 2016, 17:20

Menuhin wrote: Is it like this every year??
It is so difficult to vote just one - even many of the nominees are real cool projects.
It's close to this every year, but this year was a special one. I'm glad that I fell into the Kingpin position, as writing for the awards has been fun.

The copyediting, not always so much. :lol:

Findecanor

04 Dec 2016, 17:47

XMIT wrote: If you want to troll, disregard all the work I've put into this, and pretend I haven't done anything, I can't stop you. But I don't appreciate it either.
Hey there, don't take it personally, and don't call names just because he does not have enough insight.
Do correct those who have got the wrong impression, tell it like it is, but do stay respectful here.

I must admit that I myself did not know that today. I thought the GB was months off and was almost about to question if the project was even eligible for this year's award, but I looked up more info before posting.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Dec 2016, 18:25

Findecanor wrote: Hey there, don't take it personally, and don't call names just because he does not have enough insight.
This was written with the assumption that the group buy - advertised here and on a number of forums, open for over a week with 1000+ participants and hundreds of questions answered - was common knowledge.

If it is not, then clearly, the lines I wrote that you quoted are baseless. (But please understand that, without that context, I did think it was a troll. This surprised me since I've corresponded with Halvar before and this seemed out of character.)

The group buy page was here:

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/xmit-hall- ... guest_open

, which was linked in the discussion thread here:

keyboards-f2/chinese-usb-hall-effect-ke ... ml#p337422

I'll run a second round early next year for anyone who missed out.

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

04 Dec 2016, 18:41

XMIT wrote:
I'll run a second round early next year for anyone who missed out.
Will the tactile option and light springs be in the mix by then?

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Dec 2016, 19:40

fohat wrote:
XMIT wrote:
I'll run a second round early next year for anyone who missed out.
Will the tactile option and light springs be in the mix by then?
Still too early to tell, sorry.

User avatar
vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

05 Dec 2016, 00:14

I was going to vote for a keyboard project until I realized how awesome that DIY force curve gauge is.

DirtierDan

05 Dec 2016, 00:26

This is my second vote for XMIT. Hopefully he wins one of the categories.

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

05 Dec 2016, 05:27

I'm probably biased since it's my endgame keyboard, but I have total love for the Model MF project. It's been a community collaborative and not-for-profit effort, by members and for members, with lot_lizard giving his all to run the project yet generously spreading the credit around. I think this is the best of what our community has to offer.

davkol

05 Dec 2016, 16:25

This was an easy vote: HaaTa's force curve gauge

Although buckling springs and Hall-effect sensing are cool and no doubt a lot of effort went into the respective projects, HaaTa's measurement system has the potential to significantly change the keyboard landscape. The output data—some of it is already available—may clear many folk's understanding of key action, improve documentation of historical switches and at least but not least, there's one more aspect… and I'd go as far as compare it to nwavguy's contribution to the market with enthusiast audio gear. Hopefully, availability of objective measurements will limit hype trains and echo chambers, and ultimately save people's resources, that would otherwise end up spent on snake oil.

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

05 Dec 2016, 16:38

In alphabetical order, the top two contenders are:
Spoiler:
Model MF
:~$ynth
Please remember to vote!

Chiovatto

05 Dec 2016, 21:28

Hmmmm that Haata's is quite interesting...thought that page from Input Club was created with his help?? Dont know actually

User avatar
HaaTa
Master Kiibohd Hunter

05 Dec 2016, 23:36

Input Club is a company I founded to work push keyboard tech forward, though I've been working on the force curve gauge a lot longer than IC has been around.

User avatar
webwit
Wild Duck

06 Dec 2016, 23:58

Rimrul wrote: Image
I just realized, the top styrofoam is upside down. :o :shock: :?

User avatar
vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

08 Dec 2016, 01:09

davkol wrote: This was an easy vote: HaaTa's force curve gauge

Although buckling springs and Hall-effect sensing are cool and no doubt a lot of effort went into the respective projects, HaaTa's measurement system has the potential to significantly change the keyboard landscape. The output data—some of it is already available—may clear many folk's understanding of key action, improve documentation of historical switches and at least but not least, there's one more aspect… and I'd go as far as compare it to nwavguy's contribution to the market with enthusiast audio gear. Hopefully, availability of objective measurements will limit hype trains and echo chambers, and ultimately save people's resources, that would otherwise end up spent on snake oil.
This is a very good point. His force curves have definitely improved my understanding of key action.

Shihatsu

09 Dec 2016, 10:06

I vote for Ellipse - his dedication and will to get risky in his goal for absolute perfection is incredible.

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