It'd be remiss of me not to give the mouse-shoe counterpart a bit of attention. This one has some distinct advantages: it's ergonomic (ish), portable (AF), and compact. What we have here is one fugly keyboard, a roll of heavy-duty Velcro, and a sacrificial sweater (because, let's be honest, none of my clothes are gonna fit anyway when lockdown ends. No amount of hula hooping can make up for sitting on your ass 16 hours a day).
I present... the keyboard hat.
Our calculations were correct: I look like a total jackass. But for the first rapid-turnaround prototype, this is surprisingly functional. Like, a solid three out of ten stars. It's slightly hard to wrap your brain around the hand configuration when they aren't side-by-side, but it's usable. teest gvvgjpwr hekkhllo qoeks ;;;N
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While we source the nerd keyboards and Velcro, let's pop some hardware engineers into the mix. Popcorn round:
Typing on a regular keyboard with finger extenders
It's obvious which one of these we'll be exploring next. What the shit are finger extenders? "Like a deluxe trash picker-upper, but with fingers." Let's take this to Google.
There's been a lot of progress since my last update. And when I say progress, don't assume I mean forward progress.
There's a bit of dissent among the board of directors now. We all realize how critically important this technology is, so there's a lot of pressure to get it right. We have a lot of ideas on the table, and everyone's personally invested. (Well, except for Mike. He wants to drop everything and pursue mouse shoes.)
As a next step, I sent our split-keyboard explorations to the finest design agency I know. Here are the latest schematics:
A few things are becoming apparent. One, you're going to look like a royal jackass no matter what. Two, we're gonna need a lot of Velcro.
I think it's time to bring some hardware engineers into the mix.
My first step was to bring in consultants. Given the important and sensitive nature of this work, I assembled a global team of experts. Among them: a global vice president of cloud operations, founder and chief technology officer, and a software engineer, all from major tech giants.
To get started, I provided them with this detailed schematic:
Naturally, the inspiration started flowing. We jumped right in with some user testing, to see at what arm angle one could effectively type. Once we established the precise angles, I iterated on some designs based on a back-brace-and-rod approach.
In the next round of usability testing, I discovered that participant (n=1) experienced mild discomfort in the armpit region. Fortunately, my West Coast consultant was coming online. Bringing to the table 20 years of technical expertise and leadership, he unsurprisingly had several innovative ideas. He challenged the obviously impractical solution of voice-to-text:
Keys on the hoop
Thus ends another productive day of entrepreneurship with lots to think about. Back to the drawing board.
So there's a global crisis happening. Well, a lot of global crises happening at the moment really. But the one in question here is the COVID-19 pandemic. Amongst the panic purchases of excessive amounts of booze, yarn, books, and art supplies, I also lied to myself about needing workout equipment. Enter the weighted hula hoop.
Apparently weighted hula hoops come in levels, so naturally I said "fuck it" and skipped ahead to 3.3lb. At first this really sucked. I was pretty bruised up for a few weeks. But slowly, I've come to love the pain like the sicko that I am. OK, so now I can hoop through the pain. But how do I find time for work, hooping, and doing absolutely nothing for hours on end every night? If you thought, "the only solution is to hoop while working," then you're spot on.
At first, I'd hoop during casual 1:1s. Then it slowly crept into the background of small group discussions. But then it hit me. What if I can hoop while actively working? Could I get a tall-ass desk that I could hoop under, and still manage to browse and type? Probably not. But what if I could attach a keyboard to my body somehow? Could I suspend it from my neck or something?
Let's find out...
About the hula hoop hardware blog.
Jackson's not really involved with this one. Our dedicated team of hardware engineers (the ones with opposable thumbs, at least) will keep you up to date on the latest, sickest hula mods.