Google Gboard Bar is a ridiculous keyboard that you can actually build yourself

The computer keyboard hasn’t changed its design significantly ever since it was first invented. Its layout, in particular, has remained the same typewriter arrangement with just a few variations. It’s definitely not the most ergonomic, nor is it the most efficient. Fortunately, there have been a few attempts to substantially reinvent the keyboard, though they remain niche and, at times, a bit expensive. With today’s technologies, however, it is certainly easier to create your own keyboard, which is what a few lovely Googlers in Japan have attempted to do. But rather than a simple reorganization of the keys, this Gboard Bar, named after the virtual keyboard on Android and iOS, reimagines the venerable keyboard from the ground up, leading to a design that’s just out of this world and, perhaps, even out of your desk.

Designer: Google

If you haven’t caught on to it yet, we’ll save you the trouble of figuring out that this Gboard Bar is pretty much an April Fools’ joke out of time. It’s sort of a pun that plays on how “bar” is the next syllable in the Japanese word for “keyboard.” So rather than focusing on the “key” part as they’ve always done for years, Google designers and engineers opted to move on to the next level. The result is a keyboard that’s 1650mm long or just under 65 inches or 5 feet 5 inches.

Of course, they have reasonable justifications for such an absurdly long keyboard. It saves you time from having to search for the right key in two dimensions (up and down) like on a traditional keyboard. With the Gboard Bar, you only need to search sideways to hit the right key. As long as you have a desk that’s wide enough, which most office workers have, you can save space by having a keyboard that sits neatly below stacks of papers and folders littering your desk. Pair programming, where two programmers share a single computer, becomes even easier with this keyboard. Who says only pianists can do a duet on keyboards?

There are also practical benefits to this design outside of actual typing, according to its designers. No longer will you have to fight with your cat over the keyboard because there’s nothing for it to lie on. The keyboard can also be a practical tool to reach for a distant switch or push items from underneath a couch. With the proper add-on, the keyboard can be used to catch real bugs rather than just programming bugs.

It’s definitely a ludicrous idea that will never work in real life, but that’s not going to stop anyone from having fun with it. These Googlers have even generously made the schematics and even the firmware for the Gboard Bar available for everyone to use in case they want to recreate this absurd device to their hearts’ delight. Who knows, maybe someone will actually find it more usable and invent new keyboard designs that will really turn the computing world upside-down.

The post Google Gboard Bar is a ridiculous keyboard that you can actually build yourself first appeared on Yanko Design.

Stool with an accordion-shaped seat plays a musical note when you sit on it!

The Xia Stool, or as I call it, the Philharmonic Whoopie Cushion Chair, is a fun little seat that uses an accordion-shaped cushion to turn the act of sitting down into something rather surprising and entertaining. Seat yourself down on the Xia Stool and it instantly emits a note, concertina in an allusion to traditional Portuguese music.

Designed by Soraia Gomes Teixeira, a Portuguese designer from Oporto, the Xia Stool aims at revitalizing the common seating object through the power of sound. The accordion-shaped cushion provides an ample visual warning to the user, priming them to expect a sound as they sit, so they’re never caught unawares. Even though the accordion-shaped cushion acts as a visual indication, it’s still incredibly fun and entertaining to actually have the seat meet your expectations, letting out a friendly honk as you sit down! Soraia mentions, “[The] Xia Stool is a fun object that makes people smile and unleashes their imagination.”

The Xia Stool is made from wood, Burel fabric, and 100% Pure Sheep Wool. Each stool emits a high-pitched ‘A’ note, although it would be fun if different stools played different notes, creating chords as multiple people sit down together!

Designer: Soraia Gomes Teixeira

Super Mario Bob-omb Toilet Paper Holder Is Ready to Blow

If there’s something you never want to happen in your bathroom, it’s an explosion, except maybe one of those fizzy bath bombs in the tub. But if you’ve played enough Super Mario games, you know how to deal with a bomb, as long as it’s Bob-omb. Assuming you know how to keep this anthropomorphic explosive from blowing up, you might be comfortable with Bob hanging out in your bathroom.

This Bob-omb toilet paper cozy would look great in any Nintendo-themed bathroom, and I know that’s a really common bathroom decor theme. Simply load it up with a roll of your favorite toilet paper, and pull to expose the fuse of your bathroom bomb. As long as you don’t light the paper fuse or turn Bob-omb’s key, I think you’ll be okay.

This thing is awfully cute, but the idea of touching something made out of fabric while you’re on the toilet pooping makes me question whether this is really a practical bathroom accessory. I think I’d just use it to store a spare roll rather than use it as a dispenser.

An AI Bot Wrote an X-Men Script

Artificial intelligence keeps getting better and better, especially with the advent of technologies like machine learning artificial neural networks. Such tech is being used for everything from improving vehicle safety to searching for cures to diseases. However, not all AI tech is used for such noble or important causes. Take, for example, this AI that was trained on to write an X-Men script.

Writer, comedian, and occasional tech geek Keaton Patti decided to feed a deep learning algorithm with dialogue from 1000 hours of X-Men movies, and then asked it to produce its own movie based on its newly-formed knowledge base. Keaton was kind enough to post the first page of the script on his Twitter feed the other day, and the results are pretty hilarious:

Yes, they are a team of friendly freaks for sure, Storm is bossing around the weather as usual, and Magneto sure loves to play with his magnets. I really hope that Keaton lets his bot finish writing the whole movie, and then makes a low budget live-action version. What other movies would you want to let an AI bot write?

[via GeekTyrant]

The Office Possum Will Keep Unwanted People out of Your Cubicle

I’d prefer that companies let people continue to work from home until we have an effective COVID-19 vaccine, but some people are having to go into their offices already. While I hope that people are following social distancing and mask rules, some people will always be scofflaws. If you want to make sure no unmasked sickies poke their heads into your cubicle, then you need an effective deterrent. The Office Possum should do the trick quite nicely.

Made by purveyors of weird and wacky stuff Archie McPhee, the Office Possum is a 15″ tall latex replica of a possum that’s perfect for scaring people away from your stuff. With its beady eyes, lanky pink tail, gnarly teeth, and scratchy claws, it’s a great impediment to those who try and enter your personal space.

This guy even has bendable paws and tail, so you can pose it just how you like. Whether you poke its head out of a garbage can or leave it on its back on the floor like roadkill, it’s sure to disgust and freak out all who dare to cross its path.

Best of all, this thing doesn’t smell or spread rabies, so you can keep it in your office all year long. You can get your own Office Possum over at Archie McPhee for just $23.95. I think you should buy a bunch and block the entire entrance to your space with them.

Grow Your Own Brain in a Jar

Do you fancy yourself a modern day Dr. Frankenstein? Well then, you need a laboratory with lots of tubes and wires, some tesla coils, and of course some brains in jars. While I recommend American Science & Surplus for the lab gadgets, Copernicus Toys & Games has got you covered with the brains.

Yes, for just $10 a pop, you can grow your own detailed brain that you can stuff into a jar. Simply place the Swell Polymers Extra Large brain into water, and it’ll expand in size dramatically, growing from a tiny palm-sized brain to a bigger, yet still-smaller-than-human-sized one. Now before you go performing any screw-top brain swaps on patients, be sure to check to see if your freshly grown mind isn’t Abby Normal.

I’m not sure what would happen if you left one of these soaking in a jar of formaldehyde, but whatever happens to it, I’m sure the effect would be nice and creepy.

Spit Shine Mitt: Save Your Dust Drama for This Llama

It seems as if no matter how hard I try, there’s always dust on every smooth surface in my house. Perhaps it’s all the dander that my two dogs kick up, or maybe the same thing happens to everyone, pets or no pets. I usually use a Swiffer duster to keep things clean, but I think this llama dust mitt looks like much more fun.

Fred calls their dust mitt the “Spit Shine,” which is only appropriate because of llamas’ tendency to spit when they’re riled up. That said, I don’t recommend actually spitting on this before you wipe down your countertops unless you want a sticky, germ-filled mess. Also, don’t try an use an actual llama to do your cleaning. It’ll only make matters much, much worse.

You can clean up your dusty old house for just under 15 bucks. The Spit Shine Llama Mitt is available now from Amazon. Spit sold separately.

This R/C Turkey Has Four-wheel Drive

It’s Thanksgiving day, and there’s no better way to celebrate the holiday than with some delicious, stuffed turkey. And while you might yours stuffed with cornbread and celery, I like mine stuffed with lithium-ion batteries, motors, and wires. Yep, what you’re looking at is an off-road-ready turkey on wheels.

This crazy turkey on wheels was built by Wayne Stang back in 2012 as a decoy to attract a real turkey that he and his family could enjoy at the dinner table. The Robo Turkey rides atop the drivetrain and suspension of a Mad Torque Rock Crawler truck, making it capable of handling some seriously rugged terrain too. Apparently, the wheeled bird has been quite successful at luring in real birds, too.

If you don’t feel like building your own R/C turkey, it turns out that Boeckmann Decoys actually makes one you can buy right off the shelf, called the Mobo Gobbler:

[via Farm Show]

Keep Your Digits Dry with Some Thumb Sweatbands

Whether you use your them for sending endless text messages to your friends, or playing a round of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on your Nintendo Switch, your thumbs are getting a workout. After all, opposable thumbs are one of the more useful bits of human anatomy. Of course, if you use them as much as I do, they might work up a sweat. What your thumbs need are some tiny sweatbands!

Fortunately, the guys at Entertainment Earth have got you covered. These miniature sweatbands are just the right size for your thumbs, and will keep your joysticks and buttons nice and free of thumb sweat.

For $6.99, you’ll get a set of four tiny sweatbands, two with a “P1” designation, and two marked “P2,” making them perfect for two-player gaming sessions.

I wonder if these are stretchy enough to put around your cat’s paws.

Stormtrooper Vision Test Tries to Get to the Bottom of Things

Have you ever wondered why Stormtroopers can’t hit the broad side of a barn with their blasters? Perhaps they’re not getting enough Vitamin C? Or is it that the lenses of their helmets distort their vision? Maybe they just all have bad eyesight and need glasses. This hilarious painting from artist Travis Chapman is going with the latter view of things.

This one-of-a-kind original 24″ x 24″ acrylic painting is available for sale on Etsy for $700, and features an image of a stormtrooper as he sits for a vision test at the Empire’s designated optometrist, as the eye doc tries to figure out how to correct the soldier’s eyesight. Is this one better? Or this one? 1 or 2? 2 or 3? Better… or better?

Perhaps if all of the stormtroopers went through a proper eye exam and got contacts, they would have done so much better, and taken down that pesky rebellion back when they first tried to get their hands on the Death Star plans.