iKey Wearable Keyboard with integrated pointing device
Another day, another keyboard. There is a brand new keyboard in town, and this time round it will be the new iKey AK-39 which is totally different from what you’re probably used to – it was specially designed to be worn on the arm in order to provide a simple, compact human interface device (HID) meant for use in the military that will not restrict a soldier’s movement. It would be interesting to see what kind of battlefield applications one can think to use this with, as it clearly looks more like something out of a science fiction movie than reality, although it is already available for the latter. In order to survive in the tough environment, this ruggedized, wearable keyboard is able to handle MIL-461 standards, fully capable of working just fine in extremely harsh electromagnetic interference (EMI) environments.
Features include a tiny footprint design that features all of the essential components for military applications, and this includes a pointing device utilizing Force Sensing Resistor (FSR) technology with left- and right-button functionality, alongside an adjustable green LED backlighting which is also available with night vision (NVIS) compatibility.
According to Pete Fuselier, iKey’s engineering manager, “The AK-39 is the most functional and versatile wearable keyboard available with robust EMI performance. And because it is designed and built to the high standards of iKey products, it is ruggedized to withstand harsh environmental conditions, such as rain, dirt and extreme temperatures.”
Another interesting feature of the AK-39 is its integrated USB cable that comes in both left- and right-arm configurations, where the lightweight plastic case is easily position onto a Velcro arm strap which can fit over bulky combat clothing in a jiffy. It won’t be uncomfortable for the soldier either since it features a curved back for arm comfort. You can choose from two different styles – one that affixes directly over the forearm, and one that includes a thumb loop for added stability.