The Combimouse right part is both a keyboard and a mouse. It has many conflicting requirements.
One of them is that it must not move around during keyboard mode while in mouse mode it must be very mobile.
This conundrum has taken many years to resolve. For a long time I had a solution which didn’t really work well and I tried to convince myself that it was okay. It was always a relief to go back to using a standard keyboard.
Clearly a proper solution was required. In early 2013 I though of a solution and have now patented it.
The solution is to make the right part supported on rubber feet during keyboard mode and supported by low friction sliders during mouse mode. It is automatic and the user doesn’t have to do anything.
One of the requirements for a solution was that it could not add any weight to the top keyboard part.
It works incredibly well.
I have patented it and shown it to a number of people.
I have not talked about it openly because I think that there may be companies who may be considering copying the Combimouse. I have disclosed a lot of other information already which has taken a lot of work and many years of work. For now I would like to keep as much information as possible confidential for as long as possible. I will be disclosing it within the next few months.
This is the reason why I have not shown any photos of the bottom of the right part.
Patents are useful because they offer intellectual protection and so there is incentives for companies to imagine new things. The problem is that big companies simply copy and with their big budgets leave the legal problems for their lawyers to sort out a few years down the road. That is assuming the small company can still afford to sue.
Another interesting thing to consider is that up until now only one person has asked me about this issue. There have been hundreds (possibly even thousands) of articles written about the Combimouse and of the ones I have read, no one has even brought up this issue. So, if I wouldn’t have mentioned it, it wouldn’t have raised any suspicions.
I was prompted to post this blog after “Marni” posted this comment on the Combimouse website “Since ergo’ keyboards attract few reviews, you need to have correspondingly *more* information on your site. Fear of buyers remorse is always present and with radically new products from small companies, that nervousness scales up.I think you have to be pre-emptive: provide as much detail as possible.”
This was a fair comment. My response is that I am not concerned that it will be an issue and for the next few months at least I would like to keep it confidential for the reasons above.
I would say that the product speaks for itself. It it works well then it will be successful. We are currently looking for an independent authoritative organisation to evaluate the Combimouse. If they see any problems they will report on it.