Industrial design student Victor Johansson’s ‘Microsoft Keyflex‘ device was developed during his first year at Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design in London. Microsoft asked the students to conceptualize ideas that demonstrated new thinking in computer interaction. He decided to create an input device that was completely focused on relaxation, entertainment, and home environment. The flexible and bendable device can be manipulated in different ways to perform different tasks.
Instead of just pressing buttons the user bends, squeezes, twists and flexes the device. By using these actions the user interface becomes very natural and intuitive. The device can be bent upwards and downwards to raise/lower volume. By pressing a “modifier-key” at the same time the action of bending gets assigned to another function (for example fast forwarding a film). The device can also be twisted to for example pause or escape. When using social media the user can squeeze either the right or left side to “share” or “like”.
The Microsoft Keyflex project was awarded the first Microsoft UK Design Award earlier this year.