Google Japan shows off multi-functional, five-foot-long Gboard keyboard

In brief: Do you find that your keyboard is too conventional? Are you looking to reduce your words-per-minute count to single figures? Google Japan has the answer with the Gboard bar, a keyboard that places all the keys in a single, very long line.

The GBoard stick version keyboard is, of course, more of a jokey project than a real product the company is launching—Google Japan has added all the technical specifications to a Github page so anyone with access to a 3D printer can build one themselves.

The associated video explains that after years of focusing on the ‘key’ part of keyboard, Google Japan wanted to look at what is “next to the key,” which in Japanese translates to staff or bar. Designers came up with a 65-inch-long stick that looks like a weapon.

Google Japan shows off multi-functional, five-foot-long Gboard keyboard

While it is comically long, the designers note that because it is only slightly wider than a single key, the keyboard is ideal for cluttered desks with a sliver of space at the bottom. It’s also easy to clean and less likely to be stepped on by cats, apparently.

The keyboard uses a QWERTY layout in a straight line, so rather than utilizing years of muscle memory to hit the right key instantly, users can simply remember how many letters from the left each key is placed—G is 16th—or perhaps the physical distance—S is 23cms—simple! And more than one person can use simultaneously, which sounds awful.

Google Japan shows off multi-functional, five-foot-long Gboard keyboard

Being a DIY project, builders can customize the keyboard however they want, so you might find a better use for it than typing; Google Japan could develop an RGB-covered gaming version in the future. Moreover, the physical properties mean it doubles as a ruler to record your growing family’s height, a balancing pole for tightrope walkers, or a tool for reaching items stuck under furniture. You could even attach a net to the end, turning the peripheral into an insect catcher.

Check out all the information you need to make your own multi-functional stick-like keyboard right here.

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