Instead than just displaying color-changing LEDs, the Centerpiece keyboard conceals a whole interactive display beneath a set of transparent keys, which will have touch typists gazing at their keyboards once more.
Although not yet a household name in PC peripherals, Finalmouse has created a reputation for itself among some gamers with its array of ultralight mice that include perforated magnesium housings and lightweight designs. According to a recent YouTube teaser, Finalmouse has spent several years constructing a bespoke display it calls a “Laminated Displaycircuit Glass Stack” for the company’s first gaming keyboard, which will be impossible to forget. Users are given the impression that they are typing on a touchscreen, but with actual keyboard keys.
Although the keys are fully transparent (with labels added to the borders), they nonetheless contain autolubricated linear mechanical switches co-developed with Gateron based on that company’s Ink Black switches, whose sound has been described as “soft marble raindrops.” Finalmouse also intends to include an analogue hall effect switch option for gamers desiring additional customization.
The resolution of the display has not yet been disclosed, but it has been engineered to withstand the rigours of gaming and is encased in an intricately CNC etched anodized aluminium shell, so it would appear to be quite difficult to damage or destroy. Content for the screen, such as passive video clips and animations or interactive content that responds to individual key presses, will be made available via a forthcoming Steam-distributed software that will also enable users to post and sell their own works.
Up to three video skins can be stored and instantly switched on the Centerpiece keyboard, which is powered by its own CPU and GPU so as not to tax the linked computer’s processing capabilities (via a USB-C cable).
The release date for the Centerpiece keyboard has not been specified beyond “early 2023,” however the price has been set at $349. Unknown is also what content will be pre-loaded on the keyboard, or if users will be required to purchase a skin through the company’s Freethinker Portal app before the show can begin.