Centerpiece is a mechanical keyboard with a high-res display beneath transparent keys
When is a keyboard not just a keyboard?By Shawn Knight 16 comments
In context: The humble keyboard has seen many innovations over the years including but not limited to mechanical switches, water resistance, flexible designs, wireless connectivity and more recently, RGB lighting. The latest creation from Finalmouse is among the most dramatic yet.
The Finalmouse Centerpiece keyboard features a technology called Laminated DisplayCircuit Glass Stack (LDGS) that's covered by multiple patents and backed by years of R&D. As best we can tell from the reveal video, what you're looking at is a keyboard featuring clear keys and switches with a high-resolution display beneath that's powered by Unreal Engine 5. It's almost insulting to label it this way because it looks absolutely stunning.
The board will ship with custom auto-lubed linear mechanical switches co-developed with Gateron and inspired by their Black Ink switch, albeit tuned for faster actuation and with slightly different travel parameters. The keycaps are clear but have labels printed on the front sidewall. The typing sound has been described as "soft marble raindrops."
Finalmouse said the board will have its own CPU and GPU to power the light show, and will connect using a single USB-C cable. Everything sits in a CNC engraved and anodized aluminum chassis that looks beautiful even without the lights on. All those nooks and crannies could be tricky to keep clean, but I suspect most wouldn't mind the chore.
Finalmouse is also planning a skin marketplace where artists can submit their designs, either for free or to make money from. The board will have three skin slots with dedicated selection buttons on the side, presumably to swap backgrounds on the fly.
The skins are what could make or break the concept. Pure visual skins are a neat parlor trick but the real magic will be interactive skins that respond to typing or other inputs, or those that prove truly useful for productivity. And with its own CPU and GPU, surely someone will come up with a skin capable of playing Doom.
The Finalmouse Centerpiece keyboard is scheduled to arrive in early 2023 priced at $349.