The Evolution of the Keyboard: From Typewriter to Touchscreen

The keyboard is an essential part of modern technology, used in everything from computers to smartphones. But the keyboard we know today has come a long way since its inception in the 19th century. In this article, we’ll take a look at the evolution of the keyboard, from the typewriter to the modern touch screen keyboard.

Typewriter Keyboards

The first keyboards were found on the typewriter, invented by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1868. The first typewriter keyboard had the letters arranged alphabetically, but this layout was problematic because it caused the typebars to clash and jam. To solve this issue, the QWERTY keyboard layout was created in 1873, which arranged the most commonly used letters farther apart to prevent jamming.

Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards were introduced in the 1970s and became popular for their tactile feedback and durability. They used physical switches under each key that registered keystrokes with a satisfying click. These keyboards were especially popular in offices and among writers, as they offered a comfortable typing experience.

Membrane Keyboards

Membrane keyboards were introduced in the 1980s as a cheaper alternative to mechanical keyboards. Instead of individual switches under each key, membrane keyboards used a single circuit board with a layer of rubber or silicone membrane over it. Pressing a key would cause the membrane to touch the circuit board and complete a circuit, registering the keystroke. While membrane keyboards were cheaper and quieter than mechanical keyboards, they lacked the satisfying tactile feedback and durability.

Ergonomic Keyboards

As computers became more prevalent in the workplace, ergonomic keyboards were developed to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries. These keyboards featured a curved design that allowed users to type with a more natural wrist and hand position, reducing the strain on their joints. Ergonomic keyboards also featured split key designs that allowed users to customize the keyboard layout to their specific needs.

Touch Screen Keyboards

With the rise of smartphones and tablets, touch screen keyboards have become the standard input method for many devices. These keyboards are virtual and appear on the device’s screen, allowing users to type by tapping on the screen. Touch screen keyboards use predictive text technology that suggests words as users type, making typing on smaller devices easier and faster. The latest touch screen keyboards also feature haptic feedback that simulates the tactile feedback of a physical keyboard, providing users with a more satisfying typing experience.

The Future of Keyboards

As technology continues to advance, the keyboard is likely to continue to evolve. One area of development is the use of voice recognition technology, which allows users to dictate text rather than type it. This technology has already been integrated into virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, but it may also become a standard feature in future devices.

Another area of development is the use of flexible or foldable keyboards. These keyboards would be made of materials that allow them to be rolled up or folded, making them more portable and easier to store.

In conclusion

the keyboard has come a long way since its invention on the typewriter in the 19th century. From the mechanical keyboards of the 1970s to the touch screen keyboards of today, the keyboard has evolved to meet the changing needs of technology and our daily lives. As we look towards the future, it will be exciting to see how the keyboard continues to evolve and shape the technology we use every day.