Future of mechanical switches? which one is the best?

Cattus_D

06 Feb 2018, 20:50

just_add_coffee wrote: The future of ALL switches is zilch. Nada. Nothing. The near-future is voice, and the not-too-distant-future is thought. But in the here-and-now, the best mechanical switch is old school IBM buckling spring, though if you like artisan keysets, keycaps, customization, color, etc., you should give the newest Kailh offerings a look.
I don't think the near-future is voice, because many of us now work in open-plan offices or, at the very least, have to share our offices with a few other people. Nobody'd be able to focus if they'd have to listen to their colleagues all day, and the computer would likely start picking up some of the background noise as well.

Wearing headphones to block the sound of others talking could get tiring after a while, and would also cut you off from ordinary chit-chat.

Having the computer type your thoughts isn't such a good idea, either, as people tend to loose focus after a while - the computer would start putting out gibberish at that stage.

Cattus_D

06 Feb 2018, 20:51

Cattus_D wrote:
just_add_coffee wrote: The future of ALL switches is zilch. Nada. Nothing. The near-future is voice, and the not-too-distant-future is thought. But in the here-and-now, the best mechanical switch is old school IBM buckling spring, though if you like artisan keysets, keycaps, customization, color, etc., you should give the newest Kailh offerings a look.
I don't think the near-future is voice, because many of us now work in open-plan offices or, at the very least, have to share our offices with a few other people. Nobody'd be able to focus if they'd have to listen to their colleagues all day, and the computer would likely start picking up some of the background noise as well. Plus doing a lot of talking may put too much strain on the voice.

Wearing headphones to block the sound of others talking could get tiring after a while, and would also cut you off from ordinary chit-chat.

Having the computer type your thoughts isn't such a good idea, either, as people tend to lose focus after a while - the computer would start putting out gibberish at that stage.

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TuxKey
LLAP

06 Feb 2018, 21:48

it's hard to say what the future will bring i don't have a "crystal ball".

I can however share with you what i would consider worthwhile improvements that go beyond my switch preference as i don't know what the future will bring that preference could change and i believe in keeping an open mind.

Last week i finally decided to mod my Topre FC660C with hypersphere rings i got two years ago from a great GB here on DT. i also lubed them with SuperLube Oil and SuperLube grease.

Oh man what a difference and improvement finally i understand what the fuss is all about with Topre Smoothness and silence.. or more accurate nice low topre Tok...

thinking of the results i achieved without the need to de-solder and re-solder my board.
i would say / hope that the future would bring something i saw with the K-type keyboard nice easy switch replacement modding without the need to solder / de-solder that is something everyone should want.. The idea that i need to desolder a board to fix a stabilizer that is misbehaving sounds awful to me now that i modded / improved my first keyboard..

So in short the best switch is the one that gives the most freedom to mod with the least effort (low-bar)..

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Dingster

06 Feb 2018, 22:08

FXT wrote: You owe it to your fingers to try a Model F. As for lifespan, the F is rated for 100,000,000 keypresses which is more than plenty imo.
Thats why I need one :lol: Model M? Its for plebs! (using it now its good), Beamspring? Too big! Model F? Perfect.
Getting one in Slovenia is quite tricky tho :P

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FXT
XT

07 Feb 2018, 02:35

Dingster wrote:
FXT wrote: You owe it to your fingers to try a Model F. As for lifespan, the F is rated for 100,000,000 keypresses which is more than plenty imo.
Thats why I need one :lol: Model M? Its for plebs! (using it now its good), Beamspring? Too big! Model F? Perfect.
Getting one in Slovenia is quite tricky tho :P
I personally wouldn't even say that beamsprings are better than capacitive buckling springs. I love my DisplayWriter, but they're two different switches. Definitely agree, for daily use the F is unbeatable.

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DustGod
Yet another IBM snob

07 Feb 2018, 11:41

The F is the best for daily use. The beamspring is the keyboard you pull out for one hour on Sunday evening, to write your journal.

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TuxKey
LLAP

07 Feb 2018, 12:08

DustGod wrote: The F is the best for daily use. The beamspring is the keyboard you pull out for one hour on Sunday evening, to write your journal.

i can't say i recall ever typing on a model F.. i do recall typing on big RS/6000 IBM servers and other models that had ibm keyboard on the don't recall if they were the beamspring models everyone is raving about ...

my first thought is ,are these type of switches ever coming back ??
i think were better of improving "Hall effect" switches....
There's lots of room for improvement there with lots of potential..

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

07 Feb 2018, 12:10

DustGod.jpg
DustGod.jpg (28.02 KiB) Viewed 534 times
Indeed :lol:

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DustGod
Yet another IBM snob

07 Feb 2018, 12:20

kbdfr wrote: Indeed :lol:
Yup, I'm one of those :lol:

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just_add_coffee

07 Feb 2018, 15:59

DustGod wrote: The F is the best for daily use. The beamspring is the keyboard you pull out for one hour on Sunday evening, to write your journal or screenplay.
ftfy
:D

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digital_matthew

07 Feb 2018, 16:32

Yep, my F122 is the perfect daily driver. Magnificent switches, and I never knew I needed an extra bank of customizable switches to my left until I got this thing. Since Ellipse is bringing back the capacitive buckling spring switch, this may well be the future.

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Blaise170
ALPS キーボード

07 Feb 2018, 16:51

In the end, keyboard switches are still just electrical switches which can be used as a momentary switch even outside of keyboards. And I think in that regard, they will never truly go away. On the other hand, Asian manufacturers of switches and components already had many of the frameworks necessary to start producing new kinds of switches (specifically keyboards in this case) and so they can undercut Cherry by a large margin. I have found switches for as low as $0.04/piece and that's not even bulk pricing. Take off an additional $.01-.02 and you are looking at a full 104-key board for as little as $2-3. I have bought an entire mechanical keyboard direct from China for $15 with Outemu switches.

Here is an example of how cheap switches can be: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a2 ... =12#detail

Due to all of the unknown manufacturers that have popped up in the last few years, I've stopped trying to collect keyboard switches (I have somewhere around 150 unique in my pile if I remember correctly). It's not worth my time trying to keep up with it anymore.

To the question of which is best? That is obviously any of the Micro Switch SD series.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

07 Feb 2018, 19:04

green-squid wrote: I see. I wish I had money for those good clicky switches. They must be so good, but I never find them at the flea market. :( You find them every month! Lucky.
In almost 2 years of recycler hauling, I only found a single Model F!

davkol

11 Feb 2018, 15:40

fohat wrote: I would hate to be in a public place with everyone speaking out loud whatever they wanted to put into their computers.
Wodan wrote: Voice control is a neat feature for certain purposes but I don't want to work in an office where people use voice to dictate their emails ...
Cattus_D wrote: I don't think the near-future is voice, because many of us now work in open-plan offices or, at the very least, have to share our offices with a few other people. Nobody'd be able to focus if they'd have to listen to their colleagues all day, and the computer would likely start picking up some of the background noise as well.
Sigh. :roll:

For starters, background noise doesn't matter at all with a laryngophone.
A throat microphone, also laryngophone, is a type of contact microphone that absorbs vibrations directly from the wearer's throat by way of single or dual sensors worn against the neck. The sensors, called transducers, can pick up speech even in extremely noisy or windy environments such as on a motorcycle, or in a nightclub. (…) Advanced laryngophones are able to pick up whispers, and therefore perform well in environments where communicating with others at a distance in silence is required, such as during covert military operations.
Furthermore, you don't even need a microphone for speech recognition, technology for subvocal recognition is moving forward and it's not the only option for silent speech recognition either.
A set of electrodes are attached to the skin of the throat and, without opening the mouth or uttering a sound, the words are recognized by a computer.

Findecanor

11 Feb 2018, 18:47

There are people here that can type faster than they can speak.

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FXT
XT

11 Feb 2018, 18:56

Findecanor wrote: There are people here that can type faster than they can speak.
I wonder if I can talk at over 120WPM

davkol

11 Feb 2018, 20:56

Findecanor wrote: There are people here that can type faster than they can speak.
Normal speaking rates are 100-180 wpm depending on person and circumstances. There certainly are people (a small minority), who can type faster… for how long though? and with how complex output? (OTOH, there are much faster speakers too, but there's the issue of speech recognition keeping up.) BTW stenography is used for a reason.

And before someone pops up with coding, there are people coding by voice already—it's quite interesting.

ClickMe

13 Feb 2018, 04:30

Wodan wrote: If you want clicks, get a Model F ... they're the real thing.
FXT wrote: You owe it to your fingers to try a Model F.
I agree. I was a Model M supersnob until I rediscovered the Model F. I say "rediscovered" because I must have used one in the early days of the PC but I forgot all about it until I got my F122 just recently. And then it was like "wow!!"

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green-squid

13 Feb 2018, 07:34

ClickMe wrote:
Wodan wrote: If you want clicks, get a Model F ... they're the real thing.
FXT wrote: You owe it to your fingers to try a Model F.
I agree. I was a Model M supersnob until I rediscovered the Model F. I say "rediscovered" because I must have used one in the early days of the PC but I forgot all about it until I got my F122 just recently. And then it was like "wow!!"
I would love to rediscover it if I found one for $30-40 anywhere!!! :(

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FXT
XT

13 Feb 2018, 10:17

ClickMe wrote:
Wodan wrote: If you want clicks, get a Model F ... they're the real thing.
FXT wrote: You owe it to your fingers to try a Model F.
I agree. I was a Model M supersnob until I rediscovered the Model F. I say "rediscovered" because I must have used one in the early days of the PC but I forgot all about it until I got my F122 just recently. And then it was like "wow!!"
Agreed. I used to have 2 full-size Ms and an SSK. Got rid of them shortly after getting my F XT. I just can't go back.

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vometia
irritant

13 Feb 2018, 14:50

I'd probably use my F if the protocol converter and KVM would play nice with each other, but alas...

the_marsbar

15 Feb 2018, 20:09

Of course it's still a guess, but taking into account that a company like Apple hasn't been able to create a speech recognition system that works well enough to operate a smartphone, I don't think we'll see speech recognition take the keyboard's place when it comes to text input any time soon. Add to that the difficulty of adapting a speech recognition system to another language, including various dialects etc... (example: it took years before Siri was able to understand a bit of Danish).

Also, many people like the idea of privacy these days. It would be very hard to preserve, since other machines than the computer might also listen in on your conversation.

I have not worked with speech recognition myself (but I am working on finishing a PhD in audio signal processing...). Howver, at conferences I've been to so far, I haven't seen any convincing breakthroughs. Most companies seem to rely on DNNs for speech recognition, but even such methods are not yet fully understood, and it's not always easy to understand what caused a specific output of a DNN.

There are probably other factors too (e.g., the unwillingness of most people to accept radically new ideas). I'm not retiring my Topre boards anytime soon (I wonder how much fun it would be to play TypeRacer using Siri - maybe something to try) :)
Last edited by the_marsbar on 15 Feb 2018, 21:09, edited 1 time in total.

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green-squid

15 Feb 2018, 20:48

vometia wrote: I'd probably use my F if the protocol converter and KVM would play nice with each other, but alas...
I would also use my F... if I had one!

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JP!

15 Feb 2018, 22:45

Which is best? The one that works best for you :)

davkol

15 Feb 2018, 23:08

the_marsbar wrote: Also, many people like the idea of privacy these days.
That's a very apt wording.

People like the idea of privacy on paper, but very few pursue it.
the_marsbar wrote: It would be very hard to preserve, since other machines than the computer might also listen in on your conversation.
That doesn't stop people from using [smart]phones, social media and proprietary services,… or ignoring encryption, not to mention vulnerability to side-channel attacks.

Also relevant: Marc Goodman, Future Crimes.

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