Stenoboard, the open source stenographic keyboard
Improve your typing speed, save your hands
Stenoboard v1.1 kits available for order at utopen.com. See the 3D preview of v1.1 here.
Thanks to open source stenography, now you too can join chorded typing at a fraction of the cost that was required to buy a steno machine (proprietary solutions cost $2000+) and no software costs at all (proprietary steno software costs a lot and most of them also require a big yearly fee).
For more information on open source stenography, and stenography in general, make sure to watch the inspiring presentation of Mirabai Knight, the founder of Plover, here on the right!
After many iterations and a lot of testing, Stenoboard is now available and it is totally open source, including case/keys and PCB design files, and of course a free and open souce firmware, StenoFW.
Here a list of StenoBoard features as of today:
- split keyboard
- wide key shapes at standard distances, including lowered vowel keys. Also, '*', '-D' and '-Z' are widened even more, for a more comfortable simultaneos pressing with other keys. In addition, all keys have the classical cylindrical surface.
- the switches used for the keys are very light touch (70 g of force required) and very small travel (0.7 mm!), with tactile feedback, making typing less tiring and much more comfortable.
- connects to the computer via USB using the Gemini or Bolt TX protocols.
- connects to the computer via USB using NKRO keyboard emulation which allows you to use steno drill websites, as well as Plover in a less painful manner
- 3D printed keyboard base and keys, using PLA, a polymer made from corn starch. This makes it biodegradable and renewable.
- two additional function keys, which can be used in combination with all steno keys - at the moment, for example, they allow you to regulate LED intensity and to change communication mode (NKRO-Keyboard emulation, Bolt, Gemini), but they could also be used for alt-tabbing, for example, which with Plover itself you cannot currently do. So, these function keys may be used to send special characters and character sequences as standard key strokes, without Plover or other steno software being involved, and even to send mouse events like moving, left clicking, right clicking, dragging, etc.
- powered by Arduino Leonardo, which gives support for serial communication (like the implemented Gemini and Bolt protocol) as well as standard USB HID keyboard and mouse communication, and also provides desktop software for firmware configuration/upgrade.
- can be used on a desk.
Some ideas for possible future improvements and addons:
- basic mouse functionality.
- desk/tripod adapter for maximum typing comfort (would you prefer a desk or a tripod adapter? or maybe a chair adapter or a laptop adapter? let me know!).
- LCD addon for standalone typing / plug-n-play typing with embedded Plover.
- protective case.