The last major advancement in typing came in 1873, when an American inventor and newspaper publisher by the name of Christopher Latham Sholes reordered the keys of a typewriter to create the first QWERTY key layout. Since then, every advancement has basically been a case of plugging Sholes' initial design into a new machine. Which is why the 101touch is quite exciting.
The idea behind this futuristic keyboard isn't that bold: a customisable touchscreen designed specifically for controlling a computer. Want to reorder the buttons to play your favourite video game? Change the layout. Focusing on design work? Add a stylus-sensitive design pad region. Need a better interface for controlling a music and lighting system? You get the idea.
The 101touch is just the first idea of what computer interaction of the future could look like. It'll probably be a bit rubbish, like most early model tech advancements can be. Built with an Android operating system, developers and users will be able to tweak the layout of the keyboard and create a number of presets - eventually building up into a library of useful layouts and designs. But what about the 202touch, which could include haptic feedback? Or the 303touch, with a tacticle eInk display that lowers and raises physical buttons on a touchscreen display?
Currently undergoing Kickstarter funding, you can order a 101touch for £115. You'll have to wait though - the future of the keyboard won't be ready until November 2015. Until then, we'll go on thumping buttons like we've been doing for the last 140 years...