There are many different kinds of keyboards, from the clicky mechanical ones to the shorter, more compact tenkeyless builds. Then, there’s Google Japan‘s new gag innovation: the GBoard stick, which measures 165cm long and is apparently “wide enough for a cat to walk across”.
Why, you ask? Well, the tech giant explained in a delightful video that there are several advantages to the radical change in form factor, and they are nothing short of amazing…amazingly absurd, that is. The first is that the layout makes it easier to find keys, since users only have to look along one axis instead of two. Secondly, the GBoard requires less cleaning effort, because it can be cleaned in one swipe.
More importantly, it isn’t just a keyboard, with its length offering multi-use functionality. The reel outlines some hilarious scenarios, such as using it to mark your personal space in the office, as a clothesline, or even as a bug catcher stick. Oh, did we mention it can also double up as a walking stick?
If you haven’t figured it out at this point, Google’s keyboard is a wonderful cheeky joke, so it won’t actually be available for purchase. It can, however, be found on GitHub as a DIY project, and will require a 3D printer and some know-how for customisation. What this means is that you’ll be able to change its QWERTY layout into an ASCII code layout, or have each key assigned to an emoji, if you wish so.
As ridiculous as it sounds, there may be some merits to having more than one person use the Gboard at a time, such as playing co-op couch games — though that might be more suited for the gaming version of the keyboard with illumination in seven different colours, which Google Japan is contemplating to develop.