Bill Buxton's Notes
Originally released in 1996, the CyKey was a designed as an inexpensive means to enable people to employ the chording technique originally developed for the Microwriter to enter alphanumeric data into a PC or PDA, such as a Palm Pilot.
One could always enter data to your PC using the serial connector. However, that was cumbersome, and, it required an entire Microwriter, rather than just a keypad, which is what the CyKey provided.
The other thing that the CyKey brought to the equation was the ability to use it with either the left or the right hand. Hence, despite the additional keys on the keypad, it used the standard Microwriter codes. The extra keys were to accommodate left or right handed use on the same physical device, and to compensate for the slight asymmetry in the Microwriter (and AgendA) keyboard layouts.
As Chri Rainey, the designer of the CyKey explained to me:
In an updated CyKey it was apparent that the original design of the CyKey was rather clunky and was done on a shoe string. During the life of the product it was criticised for being rather large, noisy (clicking keys), a left hand version was a special, the cable connecting the unit to the PC was a nuisance.
Company: Bellaire Electronics | Year: 1996 | Original Price (USD): $159