For years I’ve said that “keyboard day” at Computex is my favorite tradeshow day of the year. I would clear out an entire day just to traipse around the corner of one of the halls where all the keyboard and switch companies were set up. It’s a fun area for keeb nerds and a total paradise for journalists who cover keyboards. Varmilo is always one of my favorite stops, because they always have odd, intriguing, and/or amazing concepts on display.
At this year’s Computex, Varmilo had a silly but cool Titanium alloy keyboard it calls the “Titanium Ti.” Varmilo describes it as “very heavy,” and it costs $4,500 USD. It’s got Cherry MX Blue switches on board. It looks something Batman would buy just because it looks hardcore and costs too much.
Varmilo also had its previously announced Bluetooth 3.0 standalone numpad on display, as well as its usual array of keycap goodness. But there were two concept products that stood out. One, V-motion, will probably ultimately prove to be impractical, but the other, VDbox, may actually find a home on many a desktop.
What is VDbox?
Simply put, the VDbox is a little box that sits in between your keyboard and your computers and devices. You plug your keyboard to it, and it connects to your primary PC via a USB cable. But the box also lets you connect to up to three additional devices via Bluetooth. That could include another PC, a tablet, your smartphone, or whatever you need to control. You just switch channels to control any of your four connected devices.
It’s unclear how close this is to being a final product, but Varmilo told me that it will cost about $50 USD.
Basically, V-motion is technology that lets you control certain aspects of the PC by waving your hands in space rather that using the keyboard or mouse. The demo Varmilo had on display showed how you can control the backlighting of the keyboard and the PC’s volume. Here is video evidence:
The keyboard has a sensor in the upper right corner that detects your hand. Varmilo said that there are up to 12 different motions that it can read, and later on you’ll be able to program additional ones yourself. It’s unclear to me if “12 different motions” means that it supports 12 different types of hand movements (there are at least three in the video, although the finger swirl doesn’t seem to do anything) or if you can assign 12 different functions to the sensor.
It’s also a little curious why a keyboard maker would develop a technology that encourages people to not touch their keyboards.
Regardless, it’s certainly a lot of fun, which makes Varmilo a delightful destination every year at Computex.