Written by: Ben Gomori, Inventor of HashKey;
I first came up with the idea for the HashKey about a year ago. It’s a one-key keyboard dedicated solely to the hash symbol, aimed at social media nerds like myself. If you want a # symbol on a Mac, you have to press alt + 3 – but it’s only on the latest Apple keyboards that the # symbol is even printed on the 3 button. So it’s kinda confusing for some people, and a bit annoying for people who hashtag a lot!
At first it was just a funny idea, but then we realised that people could actually find it pretty useful, or just enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of it. It’s my first venture into tech and crowdfunding, and it’s been a pretty daunting experience, but one that I’ve really enjoyed so far. I’ve been amazed with the response in the press – with the likes of Time, BBC and Business Insider all featuring it – and I’ve had some really encouraging messages from supportive people or people with suggestions on how we could tweak the product design. It’s amazing the stuff some people point out that I didn’t even think of in the first place – such as that it could be really useful for users of software where keyboard mapping is used, to give you an extra key. For someone who uses music software like TRAKTOR or Ableton for instance.
If we can exceed our funding goal by a good way, I’m hoping we’ll be able to produce HashKey in aluminium or maybe even make it Bluetooth enabled, and I’ve got some ideas for other one-key keyboards that could be really fun and useful in different ways.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to act on the many ideas I had floating around my head and try and make them a reality. Whatever happens with this, I can at least say I tried, and I’ve found that a lot of people love the idea. So my recommendation to anyone who has an idea of their own is to give it a try – crowdfunding can be a great way to minimise your risk and help get feedback on your idea. You won’t know until you try!
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