Darfon introduces Maglev keyboard at Computex

Darfon Electronics unveiled a new Maglev keyboard at Computex 2014. The keyboard utilizes magnetic levitation in order to create the feeling of depth. On a standard laptop keyboard this is accomplished by using a rubber nipple surrounded by a scissor switch. Since the new technology does away with physical parts, it can create a slimmer keyboard, which will pave the way for slimmer laptops.

According to CNET, Darfon had a couple of different keyboard demos on display. The demos showed how the Maglev keyboards could be customized to accommodate different types of setups. While the notebook demo was slim, it had little to no depth making it uncomfortable to type.

There was also a standalone demo unit that emulated the feeling of current keyboards perfectly. Since Maglev technology is adjustable, Darfon says that they will be able to manipulate the resistance of the keys to meet customers’ specific needs. 

Although we will see Darfon’s Maglev keyboard in the consumer market during the second half of 2014, they declined to reveal what companies would be taking advantage of their unique technology.

Source: CNET | Image via CNET

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Aheer.R.S. said,
Should be interesting, hope they've figured out how not to electro magnetically wipe the hard drive :p

What's a hard drive? :shiftyninja:

Aheer.R.S. said,
Should be interesting, hope they've figured out how not to electro magnetically wipe the hard drive :p

that's pretty trivial, hard drive platters aren't some super fragile thing that gets ######ed up with every little bit of magnetism. they just have to make sure they don't use magnets the size of a car.

primexx said,

that's pretty trivial, hard drive platters aren't some super fragile thing that gets ######ed up with every little bit of magnetism. they just have to make sure they don't use magnets the size of a car.

A neodymium magnet the size of a car would be terrifying.

It would be cool, but wasteful, if it used adjustable electromagnets for adjustable pressure to type. And when you turned the computer on, all the keys jump up into place from their resting position...

Would use a fair amount of energy. Remember that the intended use is in a mobile device like a laptop, where energy is at a premium

Would use a fair amount of energy. Remember that the intended use is in a mobile device like a laptop, where energy is at a premium

I don't think this technology necessarily needs to be used in low-profile portable device keyboards. One in the form factor of a typical mechanical switch keyboard, for example, might have enough space to accommodate the hardware necessary for on-the-fly adjustable force feedback for each individual key, possibly even during a keystroke.

That would offer a pretty neat form of customization that simply isn't available for existing keyboards.

rfirth said,
It would be cool, but wasteful, if it used adjustable electromagnets for adjustable pressure to type. And when you turned the computer on, all the keys jump up into place from their resting position...

Wait a second, did the guy from Darfon actually say he uses ELECTRO-magnets? I didn't read that anywhere. Magnetism occurs naturally as well without the use of electricity depending on the type of metal used. You don't need electricity if you have opposing magnetic forces the will naturally repel the keyboard keys upward. I remember I had a magnetic chess set as a child and felt the opposing magnetic forces when I tried to put two chess pieces together. I am also pretty certain that the low level of magnetism required for keyboard keys won't be strong enough to wipe a hard drive. But then again, most new laptops will come with SSD's so that won't be a concern at all.

Gergel7077 said,

audioman said,

No, they probably mean tiny neodymium magnets. Tiny ceramic magnets probably aren't strong enough.

Electromagnets was my idea. You could create a pretty cool and very customizable keyboard with dynamically adjustable pressure. But that means lots of coils of wire, magnets on the keys, and electricity to run the electromagnets. So yes, slightly wasteful. But so was that $1500 keyboard with oled displays on every key.

They say that their method is adjustable... but they mean by choosing different magnet sizes in the factory.