As niche as they are, the market for custom-made mechanical keyboards has grown exponentially over the past several years, and there are a lot of them. One custom keyboard maker decided to go the extra mile with the Centerpiece and install a display underneath the keys.
The company behind the project is Finalmouse and while that name may not sound familiar to some, it is known for making lightweight gaming mice. Getting into it, the Centerpiece has a built-in display underneath the keycaps that is capable of beaming interactive videos and images.
Finalmouse also designed the Centerpiece to display “interactive skins”, all built using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 (UE5). Naturally, the reactions occur with each keystroke and on that note, the keycaps are transparent to allow you to see the artwork or video of choice. As for the display itself, it is made with something the brand calls the Laminated DisplayCircuit Glass Stack (LDGS) and it is able to withstand even the most punishing abuse from gamers.
The Centerpiece also comes with its own built-in CPU and GPU, both dedicated to generating said interactive images over the display. To power it, Finalmouse shows that the keyboard simply requires it to be plugged in via a single USB-C cable. For that matter, the isolated function means that there is no need to connect it to a PC’s graphics card to run video on the built-in display.
Finalmouse isn’t stopping there for the interactive video and images on the Centerpiece. To fully support the built-in display, the brand has also created a whole marketplace app, where users can download interactive skins. That site is known as the Finalmouse Steam app. Not only that, but it is also allowing artists to submit their own skins, with the choice of monetising them or providing them for free.
As for the Centrepiece’s general function, Finalmouse says that it partnered up with key switch maker Gateron to design the keycaps and that the typing experience should sound something akin to “soft marble raindrops”. In terms of availability, the brand says that it plans on making it available sometime early next year, at a price of US$349 (~RM1549)
(Source: Finalmouse via PCMag)
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