Home Technology The Wooting One Analogue keyboard wants to change PC gaming

The Wooting One Analogue keyboard wants to change PC gaming

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Wooting

The input of choice for PC gamers in most games – even ones that don’t really work properly with them – is the traditional mouse and keyboard. There’s just no denying that for some games though, the mouse is the most accurate and quick input device. I’m mostly platform agnostic and like to switch around, there’s one thing I miss when I do game on a PC – and that’s finer movement control. The keyboard, though it’s home to many more buttons than controller, is not a great input device.

On a proper controller, you have analogue movement, where you’re able to move your character forward along a gradient, at different speeds depending on how hard or how fast you move the stick. On PC, with a traditional keyboard, that’s just not possible. The way keyboard switches work is that they’re either on, or they’re off. You’re either moving forward at full tilt, or you’re not moving at all.

That’s where the now successfully funded Wooting One keyboard comes in. Using fancy optical Flaretech switches, the keyboard is able to measure how much pressure you’re putting on a key by sensing the distance the key is from the sensor when you press it. It works by essentially emulating an Xbox 360 controller with your keyboard, and there’s a handy button to switch between “digital” and analogue modes.

flaretech
The Flaretech switches that power the Wooting One

And it works. We gave it a bash with Overwatch, and though it takes a bit of re-wiring your brain, it gives you that finer sense of movement control that you’ll get from an analogue. There’s more to it, of course – with fully programmable custom profiles and a few other tricks available because of use of optical sensors. You could, for example, trigger a certain action when your key press in half way, and another once it’s all the way down – but I think in most circles we call that “cheating.” On top of that, the thing has close to zero input lag – but thanks to the constraints of USB, it’s set at 1ms. Still, with that sort of customisation and input lag, it’s ideal for eSports types.

Unfortunately, because of the way that Microsoft’s Xinput works, you’re only afforded the keys and axes available to the Xbox 360 controller, but the brand new prototype we saw allowed you to configure any of the keys to those inputs – not just the pre-set keys from earlier builds. There is also the issue of game support – because not all PC games support Direct Input or Xinput controls, and some that do don’t allow for keyboard and mouse usage at the same time. The Wooting One is is intriguing, but it’s got a struggle ahead of it.

You can find out more of the technical stuff at the Kickstarter page. There are still 20 or so days to go on the Kickstarter drive.

Last Updated: June 2, 2016

13 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief Protector

    June 2, 2016 at 15:08

    I dunno, this half-speed nonsense makes no sense to me.

    Either FULL STEAM AHEAD or crouch-walk

    Reply

    • Greylingad[He Charges!]

      June 2, 2016 at 15:10

      HAH! Splintercell Chaos theory allowed you to modify the slow walk/medium walk/fast walk/sprinting/Bugatti Veyron speeds through the mouse wheel….

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Protector

        June 2, 2016 at 15:10

        Yes, that is preferable to this half-press thing

        Reply

        • Greylingad[He Charges!]

          June 2, 2016 at 15:11

          Though, I haven’t seen other games do that, as great as it was, that series was the only one where it featured, come to think of it…

          Reply

  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 2, 2016 at 15:18

    No number pad, no sale. I’m not one of those common WASDers.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Protector

      June 2, 2016 at 15:19

      You are one of those lefties eh

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 2, 2016 at 15:21

        Hail to the king, baby!

        Reply

  3. Ghost In The Rift

    June 2, 2016 at 15:37

    I got my keyboard, mouse and xbox one controller but have been thinking of switching to a PS4 controller, love the touch pad as mouse option which is great for gaming in bed in my case, really don’t see me upgrading to a new keyboard and mouse anytime soon but will keep an eye on how much keyboards and mice evolve in the next few years.

    Reply

  4. Banie Joubert

    June 2, 2016 at 15:38

    It will make a huge difference with car games. Trying to control a car with a key board is one of the most fustrating experiences ever. Which is why I don’t play car games. But every once a while you do get a game with some car elements, like Mad Max and Arkham knight. Both good games, but the car handling left me swearing more than once.

    Reply

  5. Viking Of Science

    June 2, 2016 at 15:59

    If it ain’t Mechanical, I ain’t interested.

    Reply

    • Shifted

      June 2, 2016 at 18:12

      It is, look into the kickstarter link.

      Reply

    • Jordan Banasik

      June 4, 2016 at 02:11

      That’s extremely ignorant, being that this is for gaming, allowing you say a value of 0 to 1000 instead of 0 or 1. Mechanical is nice for typing and gaming, but you’re extremely limited if you play any racing games, or hell even games that allow slower movement, you can only do that with analog.

      Reply

  6. pydsigner

    June 13, 2016 at 21:23

    The game I’m most excited to play with this keyboard is World of Tanks. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been frustrated by how much your turretless tank turns when you hit A or D to follow your target in sniper mode….

    Reply

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