What is Keyboard

Table of Contents

Intrduction

A keyboard is one of the main input devices that allows users to type text into a computer or any other electronic device. It’s a peripheral device that serves as the most fundamental way for users to interact with a computer. The keyboard consists of various buttons that generate numbers, symbols and letters, along with special keys like Windows and Alt that perform additional functions. The keyboard design has its roots in typewriters, where numbers and letters are arranged in a way that facilitates fast typing.
   
Keyboard
Keyboard
              

What is a Keyboard?

The aforementioned keyboard layout is known as QWERTY design because of the first six letters positioned across the upper left corner of the keyboard. While derived from typewriters, modern keyboards also incorporate many other keys such as Alt/Option, Control and Windows key which can be used in combination with other keys to execute specific operations. For instance, pressing Control + S while working on a document in Microsoft Word will save your ongoing work. Moreover, most keyboards include function keys (F1 to F12 or F16) at the top along with arrow keys positioned below them for performing various functions.

Types of Keyboards

Most computer users typically use a standard keyboard that connects to the computer. However, there are various types of keyboards available, including;
  1. ; This type of keyboard is made from soft silicone and offers high portability. It is resistant to water and dust, eliminating the need for frequent cleaning. Just like a regular keyboard, it connects to the computer through a USB or serial port. Additionally, flexible keyboards can be more durable in certain ways compared to traditional keyboards.
The soft silicone material of flexible keyboards provides protection against different substances. For example, if you happen to use the keyboard near liquids, the silicone skin acts as an excellent barrier against spills. Moreover, these keyboards operate silently without making any sound while typing, which is why they are often referred to as silent keyboards. They are particularly useful for travel purposes as they can be easily rolled up and fit into a bag or used in outdoor settings.
             
Flexible Keyboard
Flexible Keyboard
2.Ergonomic Keyboard; This type of keyboard focuses on promoting proper body posture while typing. Instead of forcing you to adjust yourself to fit the keyboard’s design, an ergonomic keyboard is specifically designed to adapt comfortably to your natural hand position and reduce strain on your wrists and fingers.
      
Ergonomic Keyboard
Ergonomic Keyboard
               
It is designed like that; instead of curving their hands, it enables users to keep their hands straight. Usually, the space bar is larger compared to a standard keyboard, which facilitates faster typing.
  1. Wireless Keyboard:
 A wireless keyboard is a type of computer keyboard that can be connected to computers, laptops or tablets without the need for cables. It uses radio frequency (RF), infrared (IR) or Bluetooth technology to establish a connection with these devices. The advantage of using a wireless keyboard is that it offers portability and flexibility since users can move it around without being restricted to placing it on a desk. These keyboards are often designed with stainless steel material to ensure durability and longevity. Setting up a wireless keyboard is simple. Just plug in the USB receiver into your computer.
 
 Wireless Keyboard
Wireless Keyboard
             
                   
Infrared based wireless keyboards transmit signals using light waves to communicate with other infrared enabled devices. On the other hand, some wireless keyboards utilize radio frequency technology, which enables communication through signals ranging from 27 MHz up to 2.4 GHz.
  1. Mechanical Keyboard:
 A mechanical keyboard is known for its high quality and finds common usage in both homes and offices. These keyboards are designed with durability and responsiveness in mind, ensuring they have a longer lifespan compared to other types of keyboards. They provide a satisfying click sound when pressed, along with medium resistance and excellent feedback, making them suitable for gaming enthusiasts and those who prioritize typing experience. Mechanical keyboards often offer various enhanced features such as sturdy frames, different switch options, diverse type print methods, improved functionality, advanced PCB boards for better performance, key construction variations, LED lighting options and more when compared to traitidonal rubber dome keyboards.
  
Mechanical Keyboard
Mechanical Keyboard
                         
  1. Virtual Keyboard: 
Virtual keyboards are software based keyboards that allow users to type without using physical keys. They serve as an alternative to physical keyboards or digital representations of QWERTY keyboards. These virtual keyboards typically consist of multiple pages with a range of characters, including numbers, letters, punctuation marks and symbols.
   
Virtual Keyboard
Virtual Keyboard
                   
  1. Projection Keyboard; 
A projection keyboard is a type of computer input device that can be connected to a mini PC, tablet or smartphone using Bluetooth technology. It works by projecting an image of a virtual keyboard onto a surface. When a user touches any key on the projected keyboard, the device records the corresponding keystroke. These keyboards can be connected to various devices such as tablets, smartphones and mini PCs running Android, Windows or iOS operating systems.
   
 Projection Keyboard
Projection Keyboard
                                        
  1. Gaming Keyboard; A gaming keyboard refers to a specialized type of keyboard designed for gamers. It typically includes specific keys that are commonly used in gaming, such as W, S, D, A keys along with arrow keys. Gaming keyboards are often mechanical keyboards that offer faster response times for gaming purposes by reducing key depression.
   
Gaming Keyboard
Gaming Keyboard
               

The Invention of the First Keyboard

The invention of the computer keyboard involved various types of devices like typewriters, keypunches and teleprinters. These inventions played significant roles in the development of the modern computer keyboard. The first writing devices were designed in the 1700s and Henry Mills filed his patent for it in London (England) in 1714.
Invention of the typewriter
The invention of the typewriter took place during the late 1700s and early 1800s, with various typing and writing devices being created worldwide. However, it was in 1868 that Christopher Sholes developed and patented the first functional typewriter, known as the Type Writer, which is widely regarded as the first of its kind.
Furthermore, it was through the Type Writer that the QWERTY keyboard design was introduced, a layout that continues to be used to this day.
         
Typewriter
Typewriter
     

Conclusion

Keyboards are essential input devices for computers and various electronic devices. They come in various types, such as QWERTY, mechanical, and virtual keyboards. Keyboards are used for typing text, executing commands, and navigating user interfaces. They play a crucial role in facilitating communication and interaction with technology, making them a fundamental tool for personal and professional use.
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