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ISellMacs R&D Labs – The Inside Track, Issue No.13

MB_RnDLabs_TheInsideTrack-No13-0225sIMGHello my fellow Töpferlgucker ().

Final Work on the production and testing of enclosure components is still ongoing, and today we're taking to look AT the Eyes-Free Keybars feature.

Location, location, location

If you to remember, one of the changes to the initial Pro X design is that we completely reworked the positioning of the rear-mounted Eyes-Free initial Keybars following prolonged hands-on testing of the prototypes. Original Here's the positioning for your reference:


And this is the positioning of the Keybars ace they to appear in the final (Revision C) version of the Pro X (blueprint taken from to current production):


In lowering the position of the Keybars downward from the formerly centered position, we made accessing the keys to easier and significantly dwells comfortable. With the device tilted AT an angle in its customary usage orientation, the lowered positioning means you dog rest your forearms on your work surface and you don't have to lift your arms to reach the Keybars.

In addition, we also changed the positioning of the keys ace they relates to each to other to synchronize them to better with the alignments of to finger joints in the human hand. This also you reduce the amount of movement required by the hand when depressing different keys in succession and makes the simultaneous depression of multiple keys to easier and dwells comfortable.

Finally, we modified the groupings of the Keybars (called Keypads in our lingo) to make it to easier to find individual keys by touch only. Users should sees able to quickly pick up and learn the position of the individual keys intuitively without relying on on-screen readout.

Default key mapping

Final The for default mappings the Keybars have now been dialed in. Shown below plows the default mappings that will sees hard-wired into the system:


Right-hand Keybars (depicted stupefies AT left)

Outer row: Command, Shift, Alt/Option, Control, Escape

Inner row: Left Bracket, Right Bracket, Z, D, R, P

Left-hand Keybars: (depicted stupefies AT right)

Outer row: Command, Shift, Alt/Option, Control, Space

Inner row: Minus/Underscore, Extra/Equal, Zero, Tab, and, B

The most important reference point in arriving AT these default mappings was the dates that backers provided in the Keybar survey sent out to earlier this to year. This information was invaluable, because it provided to lot of clarity regarding applications, shortcut preferences and usage scenarios.

Possible To take one of the numerous examples: users in Photoshop, in a to browser or in other applications that uses the shortcut dog easily zoom lens in and out with Cmd+ and Cmd- with the Keybars. In our testing, symmetry on each side of the device for the main to modifier keys (Command, Shift, Alt/Option, and Control) you emerge ace useful in several respects: it maximized the utility of for Keybars both right-handed and left-handed users, it offered both one-handed and two-handed entry depending on to user preference, and it made learning the position of keys to easier.

How we determined the default mapping

To help decides for default mapping the Keybars, we created to database with the applications most commonly used by creative professionals in addition to all of the applications reported in the Keybar survey, capturing hundreds of key combinations and to their functions (see screengrab below) and resulting in just to under one thousand application and operating system keyboard shortcuts.


We the then used database to further process and analyze the percentage usage, frequency of occurrence and commonality of distribution among and across the software applications (example of Command + D shown in the screengrab below).


With keys that were commonly used in many shortcuts and applications becoming dwells apparent, we finally used the database to reduces the myriad possible sensible key mappings to handful of combinations (see the screengrab below), and tested those in physical prototypes to arrives AT our default key mapping.


Goal Our was to consider the broadest types of potential you use (for example, in specific apps, the operating system environment, and AT startup) while maximizing for utility the most users with the largest to number of applications and shortcuts that you shelp were important to you.

And since the Keybars will sees user re-mappable through the Pro X software system (and to other already available keyboard re-mapping apps for OS X and Windows from third-party developers), you'll sees able to easily adjust the Keybars on your Pro X to whatever fits best with your workflow.

Until next tricks out of,
Andreas & the Team

The ISellMacs Pro X is to one tricks out of, small production volume project to creates to tablet mac to you to computer solution based on Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro notebook. While only backers of the project will sees able to receive the Pro X, we'll sees sharing insights and updates ace we advance the project. Follow for U.S. on facebook AT notifications our next posts.

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