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    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

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    Taking a keyboard apart for a virtual reality?

    Is it possible take a keyboard apart, take all the actual keys off, and put the buttons for different keys somewhere other than on the pad that is under the keys?

    I started thinking about this when playing Counter-strike Source. This idea is probably crazy and nonsense but what if you could make a body suit with some keyboard keys/buttons on it, so when you hit a "key" it interacts with the game?

    In CSS when you press the number 1 key, it pulls out the primary weapon (a rifle), when you press 2 it pulls out the secondary weapon (a pistol), 3 for the melee weapon (a knife), and 4 for the grenades. The keys for each weapon could positioned on your body like they are on the models in the game, so you could touch somewhere on your leg to pull out the pistol (like a holster), hit a pocket to pull out a knife, another for the grenades, and somewhere for the rifle.

    As for moving, my computer chair sits on a four squared rubber mat (to protect the carpet). Could I put one "key" under each mat? When you step on one mat it presses the "forward" key, when you step on another it presses the "strafe to the left" key, and have another for "back" and another for "strafe to the right".

    Could I take the keyboard apart, and use some wire to extend the buttons to do this? Or is it a dumb nonsense idea?
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    Lost in code
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    It's certainly possible, but will require a lot of wiring. Inside the keyboard you're probably going to find a solid board, not something you can easily extract individual keys from. The most important part is the controller board, which might be separate from the key matrix board.

    Keyboards do not have a simple one wire per key design, they use a matrix of wires. Generally, the more expensive the keyboard, the more wires per key. Here's a picture of what that looks like for a simple one:

    Originally Posted by Spad
    Ah USB, the only rectangular connector where you have to make 3 attempts before you get it the right way around
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  5. Automagically Delicious
    Devshed Regular (2000 - 2499 posts)

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    If this was something you were truly interested in taking on then there are a variety of ways to do it. You certainly can create your own devices and a wearable suit could be one. The only real trick is determining how you will differentiate the different signals (i.e. the signal difference between your hip and your back; similar to how a keyboard is able to tell a 'e' from a 'b' and so forth). And then you would have to write a suitable driver for your machine to translate your incoming signals into familiar commands on the PC so that the OS and thus the game can use.
    Adam TT

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