There's an interesting new mechanical keyboard aimed at PC gamers on Kickstarter now. The Wooting One stands out from traditional rivals, made by the likes of Logitech, Razer or Corsair, by offering keyswitches that aren't just mechanical but also analogue – they can detect how much pressure is being applied.
The Wooting One promises to be a useful tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboard which will bring greater control to keyboard/mouse gamers on PCs. "Unplug your controller, you don’t need it anymore, now you have the Wooting one for all your analogue movement in PC games," claims Wooting in its promotional spiel.
With traditional keyboards, including the mechanical kind, keys are simply either on or off, so controlling your movement isn't as subtle or nuanced as it could be. Considering movement a little longer, analogue controls can help you control your movement speed, helping you navigate precipitous ledges, to peep slyly around corners, or to strafe a little slower to make sure you get all your targets. In racing games the Wooting One will make a notable difference too, when compared to traditional keyboards.
Reading the above you might start to think about compatibility within games – what games can make use of such a keyboard's analogue action? According to Wooting there is no problem, as the keyboard "uses existing drivers to communicate with your computer and games." I think its referring to the drivers allowing analogue stick control options in most games. Furthermore, Wooting is providing configuration software for further customisations and firmware updates. When you don't need analgue sensitivity it's possible to switch to digital keyboard mode via a hotkey combination.
In terms of hardware the Wooting One uses Flaretech optical switches which will be available in either clicky (Blue) or silent linear (Red) versions. Analogue key depression measurements are done via light reflections and interpreted by the keyboard firmware. The Wooting One supports full RGB colour illumination as equipped in the keyboard. Keycaps are MX-stem compatible and the switches are also swappable for further customisation. If that's not enough customisation for you, you might be happy to know the design allows for a swappable top plate.
Currently the entry level Kickstarter pledge securing a Wooting One keyboard is €139. For that you get the keyboard, a key and switch puller, two spare switches, an extra set of four switches of the colour/type you didn't opt for, a braided micro-USB cable and a few extra screws. With the project successfully past its funding goal already, keyboards should ship out in November this year.