New Microsoft Keyboard Splits Space Bar, Left Side Used as Backspace Key

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Microsoft

Try as I may, I can’t seem to not strike my spacebar with anything but my right thumb. I’ve never noticed it before, but now it’s driving me nuts. Microsoft has gotten in my head!

The company’s new Sculpt Comfort Keyboard ($60 – available “soon” but no firm date) features a split space bar, the left side of which can function as a backspace key instead. Insanity, no?

There’s a method to Microsoft’s madness. According to the company:

Research shows that 90 percent of people use only their right thumb to hit the space bar, and that the backspace key is one of the most frequently used keys on a keyboard. Knowing this, Microsoft Hardware designers built a larger, split spacebar that includes a backspace bar on the left-hand side. The new design helps improve typing speed and provide improved comfort.

Without my head exploding into a million confused pieces, I’m not convinced that I’d be able to train my left thumb to hit the left side of a spacebar and then watch whatever letter I’d just typed vanish. But Microsoft’s keyboards are programmable, so maybe this unused left thumb of mine could find some playing time after all. I’m picturing a macro that auto-types “Hoo-wee! That sure is a pickle!” when I hit the left side of the space bar so I don’t have to keep typing it into every e-mail I answer.

Other features: cushioned, detachable palm rest; wireless USB connection; takes two AAA batteries; Windows 8 shortcut keys; three-year warranty.

MORE: Confessions of a Left-Handed Technology User

10 comments
Starshiprarity
Starshiprarity

I'm a left thumb spacer but having a large reprogrammable key is always welcome, especially for gaming applications.

Anees Ebrahem
Anees Ebrahem

i don't like it....it's scary i may switch to apple because of this

Eddy Frómeta Taveras
Eddy Frómeta Taveras

That Backspace-Space key is only on that keyboard... This is really a bad idea.  Imagine having the keys in alphabetical order, We would need to type again. The keyboard should stay the same forever. Imagine changing the arithmetical signs to something else. +, -,*,/...

chupchap
chupchap

Very cool idea, but when I'm gaming I hit the spacebar with my left thumb as my right thumb is on the mouse. For the general users though this is a pretty cool innovation. 

Antonin Januska
Antonin Januska

when i type, I exclusively use my right thumb (as is very APPARENT by the wear marks on all the keyboards that I use) and even tried to retrain myself to use my left thumb but can't seem to be able to make the switch.

As far as gaming goes, you have a good point. if this takes off, i hope that games will automatically switch functionality! :)

Mgon ♥
Mgon ♥

Nice. I like it. Very handy, er, thumbsy. LOL 

Alex Cotman
Alex Cotman

I'm right handed, but actually I hit the space bar with my left thumb, so this neat innovation of the keyboard would not work for me unfortunately. 

unknownstuff
unknownstuff

 Im sure you can configure the space bars to operate in reverse.

Mgon ♥
Mgon ♥

I bet it can be changed in Settings so the right side is the Backspace Key. Microsoft keyboards can be customized a lot :-)