Engadget is reporting on a sighting at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas– an invention by Englewood, NJ chiropractor Jack Atzmon. Dr. Atzmon developed a regular-sized keyboard that contains a small motor and enough computer power to tilt slightly every so often — on three different axes — thus moving the user’s typing position.
His production company, Smartfish, has not conducted any clinical trials to support the theory, but it collaborated with the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on the keyboard design.
A design such as this has the potential to decrease the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome. Ergonomic keyboards are nothing new, but Atzmon’s appears to be a novel approach.
Atzmon had the idea for his keyboard during a trip to a Best Buy about two years ago. He realized that by having the keyboard itself move slightly every so often, it would shift the angle of a typist’s wrists and keep the carpal tunnel region from staying in the same position all the time.
Smartfish’s Pro:Motion keyboard, with a suggested retail price of $130, moves every 4,000 to 6,000 keystrokes, according to the company.
It remembers the last user’s typing pattern and will reposition itself about eight times a day. It also knows when you pause, and moves only then, so it doesn’t interrupt work flow.
Atzmon says his 20 years of chiropractic training and experience, including treating people with repetitive stress injuries related to typing, helped spark the inventor side of his brain. “Chiropractors are not taught to treat pain; we’re taught to fix it.”
About the same time, he injured his own arm while swimming with his kids, limiting his ability to perform chiropractic adjustments and giving him both the time and the motivation to turn his idea into a real product.