There’s a pretty interesting comany I’ve heard about lately named Matias. They create various products, but some of their keyboards are especially interesting because of the special layouts they’re using.
Their Optimizer layout that is used in the Matias Optimizer Keyboard really hits home for me. The idea is very good, but they’re not the first to invent such a special layout and probably neither me. I’ve seen a similar layout a long time ago on a site that I don’t remember, but a guy basically made a customized X Server layout with the core idea of using the JKLI keys and the Windows key as a shifting key to produce handy cursor navigation. I’ve seen his work after I came up with the Ultimate layout which is similar to these layouts. The core idea of the Optimizer layout is very good, but their implementation is suboptimal for a number of reasons which I won’t talk about now because I don’t wanna share the details yet.
On the other hand their Half-QWERTY layout that is used in Matias Half-QWERTY One-Handed Keyboard and Matias Half Keyboard is new to me and I haven’t heard about it yet. It may truly be their own invention although it doesn’t take a genious to came up with such an idea I believe. I think the Half-QWERTY layout works wonderfully in practice because it’s easy for the human mind to mirror the keys of one half of the keyboard. One thing that is hard to understand for me is why these products are so bloody expensive. They sell them about $600. One reason I can imagine that the target audience is very limited and they cannot sell many of these and want to make additional profit with these products but such high prices are very discouraging for customers I believe.