Keyboards have become as much of a form of self-expression as the outfits in your closet, but instead of just showing off color-changing LEDs, the Centerpiece keyboard puts an entire interactive display beneath a set of transparent keys, which will have touch typists staring at their keyboards again.
Although not yet a household name when it comes to PC peripherals, Finalmouse has made a name for itself amongst some gamers with its collection of mice featuring ultralight designs through the use of perforated housings made from magnesium. However, the company’s first gaming keyboard is going to be impossible to forget, as at least according to a teaser recently shared on YouTube, Finalmouse has spent a few years developing a custom display it calls a “Laminated Displaycircuit Glass Stack.” The end result makes users feel like they’re typing on a touchscreen, but with actual keyboard keys.
Although the keys are completely transparent (with labels applied to the edges), they still feature autolubed linear mechanical switches co-developed with Gateron based on that company’s Ink Black switches, the sound of which has apparently been described as “soft marble raindrops.” Finalmouse says it also plans to introduce an analog hall effect switch option for gamers wanting more customizability.
Details on the screen’s resolution haven’t been shared yet, but it’s been designed to be durable enough to survive the rigors of gaming, and is housed in an intricately CNC engraved anodized aluminum case, so it sounds like you’re really going to have to try hard to damage or destroy it. Content for the screen, including passive video clips and animations or interactive content that reacts to individual key presses, will be made available through an upcoming app distributed through Steam that will also allow users to upload and sell their own creations.
Up to three video skins can be stored and quickly changed on the Centerpiece keyboard at a time, which is powered by its own CPU and GPU so as not to put any processing strains on the computer it’s connected to (via a USB-C cable).
A specific release date for the Centerpiece keyboard hasn’t been announced yet aside from “early 2023,” but Finalmouse has set the pricing at $349. What’s also unknown is what content the keyboard will have pre-loaded, or if users will have to hop into the company’s Freethinker Portal app to buy a skin before the show beneath their fingers can begin.