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PKT’s new picture-based, programmable keyboard

15 Jun 2020

PKT Technologies has announced a QWERTY keyboard equipped with keys that dynamically change to match the activity of the user.

The Picture Key Board (PKB 5000) leverages PKT Tech’s patented Picture Key Technology (PKT) to deliver an interface that combines the advantages of a touch screen with the benefits of tactile ‘haptic’ feedback.

Each of the keyboard’s 110 keys can be programmed to display any required image and enact a predetermined action. 

This allows the keyboard to be customised for specific workflows and changed as often as required.

Keys can be configured for different languages or linked to specific functions within software applications.

The PKB 5000 uses a single, standard computer screen beneath the array of physical keys. 

By using a material called Bonded Fibre Optic Image Conduit (BFOIC), graphics on the screen are transferred into each key and displayed on its cap. 

The graphic on each can be changed through software to match user requirements.

PKT Tech CEO Philip Belcher said the company’s PKT technology was currently deployed around the world in mission-critical broadcast and movie audio production environments as well as commercial customer interface applications.

“The PKB 5000 now takes the advantages of PKT into the wider business environment. Users can expect productivity improvements estimated at more than 20% when compared with using conventional keyboards,” he claims.

Belcher adds that the new keyboard is especially suitable for popular commercial/industrial productivity software applications that require multi-key shortcuts to enable workflow. 

It is particularly relevant in applications such as contact centres, point-of-sale terminals, graphic editing and process control equipment. 

Productivity improvements will be achieved because the keyboard streamlines repetitive processes by reducing or eliminating the need for multi-key shortcuts and mouse operations to navigate between multiple windows and icons as well as leveraging unique performance features of an application.

“As well as boosting productivity, the PKB 5000 lowers operator repetitive strain injuries and fatigue by reducing the need for multi-key operations and mouse clicks. This, in turn, should result in a reduction in lost time due to injury and staff turnover,” claims Belcher.

The PKB 5000 keyboard can be programmed to follow a particular process with the appropriate images appearing on and disappearing from keys as the workflow progresses. 

Operator training can be streamlined as users no longer need to learn complicated, multi-key instructions. 

Also, with only the necessary keys present at any stage of the process, the likelihood of operator error is reduced.