Wood and Waves

Look at your keyboard. Now look at the Engrain. See a difference? The Engrain Tactile Keyboard by Michael Roopenian (say his last name repeatedly please) “uses nature’s tactility to strengthen the relationship between user and interface.” His words, not mine but I I agree. It certainly looks “touchy feely.,” just begging for my fingers to glide across its undulating surface. Whoa whoa! This post is getting dirty. Tell me, what do you guys think of it?

Designer: Michael A. Roopenian

61 Comments

  • Isaac says:

    I saw this a while back on Core77. It looks nice, but its just a shame its glued onto an apple keyboard!

  • Isaac says:

    I saw this a while back on Core77. It looks nice, but its just a shame its glued onto an apple keyboard!

  • pinkieser says:

    It looks like sweet~

  • pinkieser says:

    It looks like sweet~

  • Francesca says:

    I like it!

  • Francesca says:

    I like it!

  • Art says:

    I really like this one. As long as I won't get splinters.

  • Art says:

    I really like this one. As long as I won't get splinters.

  • Jones says:

    Want.

  • Jones says:

    Want.

  • TOPRICE.IE says:

    It's kind a weird but maybe someone would like to have some relationship with keyboard.

  • TOPRICE.IE says:

    It's kind a weird but maybe someone would like to have some relationship with keyboard.

  • Marco says:

    Good idea, but too bad that you can see the aluminium of the apple keyboard. Why didn't the cover that up with the rest of the wood?

  • Marco says:

    Good idea, but too bad that you can see the aluminium of the apple keyboard. Why didn't the cover that up with the rest of the wood?

  • TheCleaner says:

    The elegance of the design comes from the design of the apple keyboard. It almost feels like the design is riding on the success of the apple keyboard and not on its own merit. I mean really, you sandblasted some wood and glued them to a pre-existing keyboard. Is this to be considered your design or a piggyback of an already proven winner? Sorry but I come to this site for the originality of the designs and this one is far from that.

    • Jimmy C says:

      Then don't look at it. Find another site, if you can't be a more unbieased person.

      • TheCleaner says:

        So what your saying is if I don't tell you how great it is then don't say anything? As an artist I personally appreciate criticism both good and bad. It all makes for a better design. Criticism in its nature IS biased. Thats why they call it a "personal opinion". Maybe what could be done is coming up with an original design and not riding on the apple iwave…..just sayin.

        Either way if all you are looking for is praise and pats on the back then don't leave a design open for comments.

    • Scott Wood says:

      I see what you mean there. Maybe the guy was just trying to get a concept out there.

    • Mike says:

      How does the fact that it's glued to an Apple keyboard in particular make this design elegant? Apple didn't invent the QWERTY keyboard, they just put slimline buttons on it. Their design is arguably an improvement on a typical PC keyboard, but their idea was certainly not original; they took something and made it better. That's usually how innovation works.

  • TheCleaner says:

    The elegance of the design comes from the design of the apple keyboard. It almost feels like the design is riding on the success of the apple keyboard and not on its own merit. I mean really, you sandblasted some wood and glued them to a pre-existing keyboard. Is this to be considered your design or a piggyback of an already proven winner? Sorry but I come to this site for the originality of the designs and this one is far from that.

    • Jimmy C says:

      Then don't look at it. Find another site, if you can't be a more unbieased person.

      • TheCleaner says:

        So what your saying is if I don't tell you how great it is then don't say anything? As an artist I personally appreciate criticism both good and bad. It all makes for a better design. Criticism in its nature IS biased. Thats why they call it a “personal opinion”. Maybe what could be done is coming up with an original design and not riding on the apple iwave…..just sayin.

        Either way if all you are looking for is praise and pats on the back then don't leave a design open for comments.

    • Scott Wood says:

      I see what you mean there. Maybe the guy was just trying to get a concept out there.

    • Mike says:

      How does the fact that it's glued to an Apple keyboard in particular make this design elegant? Apple didn't invent the QWERTY keyboard, they just put slimline buttons on it. Their design is arguably an improvement on a typical PC keyboard, but their idea was certainly not original; they took something and made it better. That's usually how innovation works.

    • Mike Faulkner says:

      Yeah, I second Scott. It not about the elegance of the design but the concept of increasing the stimulation of touch sensation to the users mind using organic materials. I'm guessing the choice to use an apple keyboard was merely a faster option than trying to create one from scratch and a darn sight better looking than your average.

  • I also think this looks really cool and has a really smooth texture that would be interesting to type on, perhaps not in the long run…I agree with Art, my first thought was also "splinters!"

  • I also think this looks really cool and has a really smooth texture that would be interesting to type on, perhaps not in the long run…I agree with Art, my first thought was also “splinters!”

  • Kardin says:

    Really, why do I need to strengthen my relationship with my keyboard? I either know how to type or I do not. A textured key will not enhance that aspect.

  • Kardin says:

    Really, why do I need to strengthen my relationship with my keyboard? I either know how to type or I do not. A textured key will not enhance that aspect.

  • Wow, it looks cool. Is that a real keyboard? Does it have wires or is it wireless?

  • Wow, it looks cool. Is that a real keyboard? Does it have wires or is it wireless?

  • Jimmy C says:

    Hmm. I like the wooden one, but I'm not so sure about the carpet one. Looks pretty good! Hope it gets patented.

  • Jimmy C says:

    Hmm. I like the wooden one, but I'm not so sure about the carpet one. Looks pretty good! Hope it gets patented.

  • kelly says:

    I think the wooden one is awesome. Very different and neat looking. If you are an iphone user and prefer tactile keyboards you should definatley invest in this overlay. Makes typing so much easier when you can feel the keys.

  • kelly says:

    I think the wooden one is awesome. Very different and neat looking. If you are an iphone user and prefer tactile keyboards you should definatley invest in this overlay. Makes typing so much easier when you can feel the keys.

  • Scott Wood says:

    As a parent of seven children, i must say this is an awesome idea put has no practical use. As a painter, i know how much varnish would have to go on those keys. The grain would be flat by the time it had enough on there to be cleanable and to keep the letters from coming off. This would almost have to be made of plastic to be practical. If it ever went into production, i would buy it!

  • Scott Wood says:

    As a parent of seven children, i must say this is an awesome idea put has no practical use. As a painter, i know how much varnish would have to go on those keys. The grain would be flat by the time it had enough on there to be cleanable and to keep the letters from coming off. This would almost have to be made of plastic to be practical. If it ever went into production, i would buy it!

  • Now that wooden keyboard sure looks amazing. But I have second doubts on what it would do to my typing whether it might hinder it or would feel uncomfortable in the long run. But all in all, its still amazing.

  • Now that wooden keyboard sure looks amazing. But I have second doubts on what it would do to my typing whether it might hinder it or would feel uncomfortable in the long run. But all in all, its still amazing.

  • Mike says:

    The idea of a unique tactile identity for each key is an intriguing idea and I'm sure would appeal to certain people. It might make sense, if one were to actually market something like this, to make not only full keyboards, but also individual tactile buttons. Since most keys can be popped off and use similar connections, this would give users the freedom to mix and match, or use tactile buttons for certain keys, etc.

  • Mike says:

    The idea of a unique tactile identity for each key is an intriguing idea and I'm sure would appeal to certain people. It might make sense, if one were to actually market something like this, to make not only full keyboards, but also individual tactile buttons. Since most keys can be popped off and use similar connections, this would give users the freedom to mix and match, or use tactile buttons for certain keys, etc.

  • I think this looks nifty and all, but I think it would be annoying to use. I think a bumpy keyboard would just be unnecessary sensory input. I would constantly be reminded of the texture of the keyboard, which could be jarring if I was enjoying an immersive video game or engaging discussion.

    The stated goals were to utilize touch recognition and… honestly I cannot make any sense of the second goal. Can someone please explain to me what on earth "innate human sensitivities" are without mentioning something like chakra, qui, or eco? And why would we need to attune a tool to them? I use a hammer to pound in nails and a keyboard to type, I don't need to connect to them on some subconscious level.

    Why do I need to be able to discern between the keys by touch? A half-second glance tells me where my hands are on the keyboard, and anyone who uses a keyboard long enough to learn how each key feels bloody well ought to be able to type without losing track of their hands. Humans have more than fives senses, and among them is kinesthetic the sense (knowing where your body parts are located) which already functions for anyone experienced in typing for locating keys. I fail to see how adding touch-based memory makes it any easier to map the movements needed to type.

    Anyway, as I said I think it looks nifty, and I think the idea of having unique, aesthetic keyboard skins would be nice to add a little flare to one's computer since as of currently we can choose from black, white, and any shade of grey.

  • I think this looks nifty and all, but I think it would be annoying to use. I think a bumpy keyboard would just be unnecessary sensory input. I would constantly be reminded of the texture of the keyboard, which could be jarring if I was enjoying an immersive video game or engaging discussion.

    The stated goals were to utilize touch recognition and… honestly I cannot make any sense of the second goal. Can someone please explain to me what on earth “innate human sensitivities” are without mentioning something like chakra, qui, or eco? And why would we need to attune a tool to them? I use a hammer to pound in nails and a keyboard to type, I don't need to connect to them on some subconscious level.

    Why do I need to be able to discern between the keys by touch? A half-second glance tells me where my hands are on the keyboard, and anyone who uses a keyboard long enough to learn how each key feels bloody well ought to be able to type without losing track of their hands. Humans have more than fives senses, and among them is kinesthetic the sense (knowing where your body parts are located) which already functions for anyone experienced in typing for locating keys. I fail to see how adding touch-based memory makes it any easier to map the movements needed to type.

    Anyway, as I said I think it looks nifty, and I think the idea of having unique, aesthetic keyboard skins would be nice to add a little flare to one's computer since as of currently we can choose from black, white, and any shade of grey.

  • Hastecaster says:

    Its perfect for the perverts out there, no matter what you do in front of your computer your hands will always be touching wood.

  • MJB says:

    I think this is supposed to focus more on the idea of the tactile senses than the way the dang thing looks and what it was made out of.

  • anon says:

    the wooden one is pretty. but seems like it would give you blisters on your fingers.

  • Mr. Wizard says:

    interesting design exploration, but utterly useless for any kind of protracted use. especially if you are a coder, this would drive you insane. and as most of us have borderline, if not actual OCD tendencies… forget it. the constant imbalance left-to-right would be very uncomfortable and would stimulate the senses in a distracting, rather than comforting way.

    great idea, but only as artwork.

    WR!

  • Mainual says:

    I’ve bet the feeling is very comfortable, is is ecologically clean material, and the design warms your soul. Doesn’t it?

  • Mainual says:

    I agree! If you could buy it – I would be the first to do it.

  • Bruce B says:

    That’s awesome. I work in the cabinet making business, but never thought about using wood for that application!

Comments are closed.