The next entry in the Das Keyboard line of mechanical keyboards is an interesting one. Where other mechanical keyboards are content with being standard input devices, the Das Keyboard 5Q is looking to be something more. Originally launched as a Kickstarter project, the Das Keyboard 5Q is a "cloud connected keyboard" with various tricks up its sleeves.
However, its biggest selling point is the keyboard’s unique software. Through Das Keyboard Q application, the 5Q is able to connect to the internet. With an internet connection, you can program the keyboard to give you notifications on various tasks which would then appear on the keyboard in the form of lighting changes
It is a standard QWERTY keyboard that uses Omro’s "Gamma-Zulu" mechanical switch that has a 1.5mm actuation point and is able to withstand 100 million presses. The keyboard itself also comes equipped with RGB LEDs.
Through the Das Keyboard Q application, users can select specific keys or even rows of keys on the keyboard to inform them about certain notifications. For example, you can setup the LED found under your F1 key to glow green when you receive an email. Once the change is applied, the F1 button would turn green upon receiving an email.
The best part about this form of notification is that it is ambient, allowing you to see it through your peripheral vision. It also allows you to reduce clutter on the desktop as you no longer need to keep multiple tabs or windows open to track updates.
In the event that you’ve lost track of all your notification settings, you can bring up a traditional notification bar by pressing the Q button located on the upper right hand corner of the keyboard. Apart from opening up the notification bar, the Q button can also be used to open up the Das Keyboard Q application.
Expanding upon the customizability of the Das Keyboard 5Q, the keyboard will come with an open source REST API that allows developers to code special effects for the 5Q. A community website will be made available, allowing developers to share their own creations with the public.
The Das Keyboard 5Q will be making a public appearance at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. If you’re looking to get one for yourself, the 5Q is now available for pre-order for USD229.