Google Japan's absurdly long stick keyboard is actually real

Audio player loading…

"Hey you! You with the short keyboard! Look how short your keyboard is! Look and weep." - Google, probably.

Google has released a new keyboard with a unique take on ergonomic design. Rather than group the keys up in stacked rows like we're used to, this keyboard cleverly places all the keys in a line from left to right. It makes for a stick shaped board that's 1.65m long, sporting all the keys you'd see on a normal keyboard positioned in series. 

In a delightful video from Google Japan (opens in new tab), (via Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab)) you can see this new design in action as well as have the rational explained to you in increasingly unhinged methods. First it explains that it's far easier to find the key you're looking for when they're all lined up, as you only have to look along one axis instead of two, but it just gets weirder from there. You see, not only can this new board serve as a keyboard, but it also gives you a very handy stick that can be useful in a wide range of scenarios. 

The GBoard stick is described as "wide enough for a cat to walk across," but also explains that a cat is far less likely to snooze on this long contraption, and that its form makes it far easier to clean in one swipe. The height is also noted to be a "comfortable thickness," and it can support up to three t-shirts if supported at both ends, all of which is equally important. Though it does make me wary about using it as a walking stick as shown in the video.

Perfect peripherals

(Image credit: Colorwave)

Best gaming mouse (opens in new tab): the top rodents for gaming
Best gaming keyboard (opens in new tab): your PC's best friend...
Best gaming headset (opens in new tab): don't ignore in-game audio

A wonderful whimsical joke though this may be, you can actually get your hands on this extra lengthy board. Google isn't selling it, but instead has uploaded the DIY project to Github (opens in new tab) so anyone can have a go and looking at the listing it's immediately clear that way too much thought was put into this project. You'll need a 3D printer and some know-how, but you can soon have your very own stick keyboard, specifically designed for catching development bugs with net attachment.

It also may not be an entirely silly thing in its own way. While ridiculous in the video and on the official website (opens in new tab) right down to the URL, a shared keyboard for coding or gaming purposes isn't exactly a bad idea. There might be merit to a keyboard that's spread out enough to get people moving at their desks, have more than one person use it at a time, or just in shaking up a prevalent design.

That being said, I'm not sure if laying them out quite like this is the way to go about it, but I'm down to try some typing duets. After all, they say that heaven and hell for writers are the same. All of us are given metre long keyboards, but in heaven we work together to use them, and in hell we are set on fire and repeatedly beaten with them.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.