Beta Testing the Falcon™ Keyboard Optical Mouse, Part I

Falcon Keyboard spacebar mouse
Falcon Bluetooth Keyboard with a Mouse in the Spacebar.

The falcon™ is a multi-platform keyboard. It is compatible with any Bluetooth capable tablet, smart phone, laptop, or desktop computer. It provides a keyboard with a thumb-controlled cursor on the space bar, or “optical mouse”, and cursor activation keys under the fingertips of the computer operator’s hands.

The optical mouse that Falcon Keyboard has developed and beta tested is defined as the optical system including the activation keys for manipulating the cursor. While the Falcon keyboard has many unique features, the optical mouse can be incorporated in essentially any keyboard, and replace the need for a mouse or trackpad.

All of the testers were asked to evaluate the falcon™ keyboard which contained 2 unique features a) the optical mouse in the space bar with its 4 activation keys between key rows, and b) a spill proof rubberized keyboard cover. There is an overlap of these features, and at times it is difficult to determine which feature the tester’s comment is referring to.

Setting up Beta Testing

Centercode in Laguna Niguel, CA was selected to conduct the beta tests. They recommended 25 testers and a 2 week period for the actual testing. Twenty five testers were selected, 21 male and 4 female, ranging in age from 19 to 53. Thirty keyboards from the initial phase of the Pre-Production run of 100 keyboards were shipped to Centercode. Twenty five of these were delivered to the selected testers on Oct.15, 2014. They filed 3 reports, a Keyboard report, a Mouse report, and a final Product Review report on about Oct. 21, Oct. 27, and Oct.29 respectively.

General Comments

The following general comments are from the Final Product Review Report.

Key Force and Feel
64% of the testers found it more difficult, or much more difficult, to type than their other keyboards. Many thought the force required for key action was too high. Others thought it was fine. Some liked the rubberized spill-proof keyboard, but many complained about its lack of a tactile response.

Accidental Movement of Cursor, Accidental Clicking
44% of the testers experienced accidental movement of the cursor resulting from inadvertent movement of the thumb over the lens. 48% of the testers experienced accidental clicking while typing resulting from inadvertent hitting an activation key. As usage of the keyboard continued, operation for some improved.

Position of the Lens
Most of the testers thought the position of the lens was in a good position, but about one third would prefer the lens be below the spacebar.

Multiple Devices and Operating Systems
Several testers commented favorably on the ability to connect to 3 different devices and the ease of switching between them; e.g. “ This one’s a winner for someone who needs mobility and just one keyboard for several devices.”

Overall Ratings
Product Score 1-Strongly Disagree 10-Strongly Agree

Product meets my expectations 7.1
I would purchase this product for myself 6.5
I find this product easy to use 7.1
I prefer this product to other products that do the same thing 6.7
I feel this product is well designed 7.0
This is a high quality product 7.8
This product works well with other technology I own 9.2

Excerpts from the Beta Tester’s Individual Final Reviews

“It took a while to get used to the thumb mouse and right/left click keys on the keyboard but once I stopped taking my hand off the keyboard to find the mouse it worked great. Reduced the clutter on my desk too. I like the fact that it is water resistant too. Fantastic product. Definitely worth a shot.”

“Works great, I’m not too keen on the mouse sensor and button placement but love the product otherwise.”

“This keyboard is pretty horrible due to the rubberized keys. They not only negatively impact accuracy, but typing speed is also significantly hampered. The mouse is innovative, and with some firmware tweaks could be a radically great mouse replacement.”

“This keyboard is great if you need a keyboard that is waterproof and portable, however I would not recommend it for general use if you need a keyboard that allows you to type fast. Consider this keyboard if you travel a lot and need a full function keyboard for use where it may get wet; otherwise wait until the next version or choose a different product.”

“This Bluetooth keyboard has surpassed my expectations. Hooking up my laptop to the TV via HDMI and using this keyboard has given me the ability to sit back and have total control. Love it. The touch mouse is also an awesome feature. That eliminates having to carry and hold a separate mouse when you can just use your fingers. 5 star keyboard right here!”