Those of us who are terrible at memorising keyboard shortcuts dream of a day when we don't have to keep a reference card handy for Photoshop or Office. And while they've been teased before, it looks like we might finally be able to buy, or at least pre-order, an E Ink keyboard with keys that change and provide shortcut hints depending on what software you're using.
The Jaasta E Ink Keyboard will soon be available through a crowdfunding campaign and is expected to sell for around $300/£193 once it's in production. So don't go throwing your keyboard in the trash just yet; there are still quite a few hurdles before the Jaasta makes its way onto your desk. But you can certainly put your current keyboard on notice.
Dynamically changing keys aren't just useful for remembering software shortcuts, either. The feature also allows for a considerable amount of customisability. Have you always wanted to try the Dvorak layout without full abandoning Qwerty? It's just a quick refresh away. You could even get rid of keys you never use, or add duplicates of ones you rely on often. Twitter power-users could finally get a dedicated hashtag key, although they probably shouldn't.
There are a lot of promises being made with the Jaasta keyboard, and while the E Ink technology that facilitates its morphing keys is tried and true at this point, getting the whole thing to work properly and feel like a regular keyboard is the real challenge. It might be worth holding on to your money until its creators post a video or two of a working prototype, or wait until it's actually in production to see if that estimated £193 price tag is even feasible.[Jaasta]