So much for the underdog: the EKI industrial touch keyboard I didn’t review

I am feeling a bit defeated. I had to return my relatively inexpensive EKI touch keyboard for a refund. First, the engineer told me the adapter was causing the infinite loops when I lifted my stick off a sensor, and offered to fit the keyboard with a native USB cable. Fine. Sent it. Got it back and discovered that in reprogramming it, he had made it unusable. Somehow the key programming now overrode Sticky Keys in Windows, so that the keyboard could only register keyboard shortcuts if the keys were touched simultaneously. Sent it back again for repair, telling him how to turn on Sticky Keys on his own machine and asking him to test it with a pencil. Got it back and discovered that while Sticky Keys worked, the Control key did not. I am tired. Maybe it was a kneejerk reaction, but I sent it back this morning.

I am disappointed. I created a frequency of use layout for it, and requested that mouse direction keys be added. I didn’t have to put any pressure on the key areas with finger or stick. It was very good. But I couldn’t keep sending it back. The problem is that now I really don’t have many more alternatives, at least not if I want direct selection that’s plug-and-play. I have one more affordable option, but it’s only sold in the UK and I don’t know if the company will ship to the US if requested. I am waiting for a response.

Otherwise, my principles regarding universal design, marketing, and price don’t work. I had no desire to scramble and scrape for a $750 or $995 Win Mini, because the industrial keyboard I sent back had the same functions for $254. The only other plug-and-play zero-force device I know of is the Magic Wand keyboard, and I don’t have $1795. I will not pay, nor ask someone to fund, a specially marketed device if a more universally designed item can meet my needs at a lower cost. Unfortunately, this device did not.

I do have a pointing device that I can use for short stints and will review it shortly, but dammit, for now I am still a direct selector. I want an alphabet, and I want to support the technology people come up with. Not that I can’t just type with a pencil on a standard keyboard, but it makes me so damn tired. And considering I type generally whenever I’m too tired to speak…Yeah. The breath control thing looks like it might be on the horizon…

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5 Responses to So much for the underdog: the EKI industrial touch keyboard I didn’t review

  1. G F Mueden says:

    “hand”, Tobii C12 is an eye controller used in special ed. They gave all the info except the price and I have asked for it.
    The contact is customercare@tobiiATI.com
    ===gm===

  2. Elisabeth says:

    ugh- how frustrating! when people say there are accessible options, i don’t think they realise how few, or how finicky, those options are (and often how expensive!)

  3. hand2mouth says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for the tip. I was trying to put off eye control for awhile, if only because of the likely expense and the energy required to get funding for that expense. But the Tobii does look like a beautiful no-hands solution, especially the CEye. I haven’t ruled it out yet, and so will see what happens.

  4. hand2mouth says:

    No kidding…on a day like this, I have to bite my tongue when I hear that. “What do you mean you have trouble with X? They’re doing amazing thngs with technology these days!” And sometimes I want to say, “Yeah, but it’d cost me my other arm and leg.” But then we’d get into the “Wouldn’t your insurance just give it to you?” and etc. Hah. But if this keeps up, I might have to go the funding route. Ah well.

  5. hand2mouth says:

    Ugh. Comments and replies got scrambled, sorry.

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