The TiPY keyboard is a one-handed wireless keyboard, with an integrated thumb joystick for mouse control. Designed in a fan shape to better accommodate a flared finger hand posture, it comes with a number of unique and functional features, not found on other standard or single-handed keyboards. Launched in 2021, it follows 4 years of research.
First of all, the TiPY can be used either by right or left handed users, simply by removing the contoured wrist rest and turning over the keyboard. The change from right to left-handed layout takes seconds. As an assessment tool, this is a useful feature, in that two separate keyboards are not required for trialling purposes.
The left and right layouts are mirror images of each other, but the letter placement is very different to a standard QWERTY layout. It has its own typing tutor to help people gain the best output in terms of rate and efficiency of movements, and unlike standard keyboards, it does not look for the typist to place the fingers on a “home row” of keys. Rather, suggested finger placements are spread over two rows, which helps keeps fingers in a more neutral position, taking into account differing finger lengths.
The joystick mouse is placed so that it is in an optimal position for use by the thumb, with left and right mouse buttons placed alongside (marked “L” and “R” in the image above), and a toggle scroll button. The joystick is very responsive, although it was necessary to move my hand closer to it to operate it, moving fingers from the home keys.
All the usual keyboard functionality is available, such as using the main keyboard for numerical input. However, some buttons are in a very different position to where they are on a standard keyboard, for example, the space and enter key are below the mouse functionality. One issue is the placement of the Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys, often used for logging into computers/accessing task manager etc – the Ctrl and Alt keys are accessed on one side while the Delete key is on the other extremity, making it near impossible to press the keys concurrently if you have standard sized hands. This could be solved by using the inbuilt Sticky keys function in the accessibility settings on Mac and Windows products.
The keyboard connects via Bluetooth or through a USB cable, also used to charge the keyboard. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux, and has support for multiple languages.
The good: Thought has been put into its ergonomic design and versatility, and the online typing tutor provides a means to become an efficient typist.
The not so good: it may suit those who opt to type with one hand, for gaming purposes for example, rather than individuals who need to type single handedly due to a disability. It requires the use of accessibility features inbuilt in operating systems for those who need to type with one hand to be able to access all keyboard functionality.
The verdict: The TiPY keyboard is an interesting option for a single handed, all in one keyboard and mouse, for those looking for an ergonomic, wireless solution.