Not a FrogPad but Close

While you might think one-handed keyboards are a niche item, if you have reduced function in one hand or you only have one hand, they are pretty important. [Kian] was getting ready for surgery that would put his left arm out of commission for a while, which spurred the construction of a one-handed keyboard inspired by FrogPad.

There was a time when creating a new keyboard would have been a significant task. These days, it is reasonably easy and [Kian] simply repurposed an existing kit for a split keyboard. Using just half the board was easy since it is made in two parts already.

There have been many attempts at building effective one-handed input devices over the years, and the circa 2002 FrogPad is one of the better devices. Like most one-handed keyboards, it uses layers. The top layer has the most common keystrokes to minimize the number of layer changes required to type common text.

The FrogPad had 20 keys; the half-keyboard had 24, so there was a little extra room. The keyboard uses the ubiquitous QMK firmware, so customizing the layout was not a problem.

In the end, [Kian] didn’t need to immobilize his arm after all (we’re glad about that), but he still used the keyboard just to rest the arm after the surgery. It is slower, of course, than a regular keyboard, especially at first. How slow? Well, [Kian] runs some typing tutor programs to show how much of an impact it has.

Taking a split keyboard and repurposing it isn’t a new idea. Accessibility isn’t the only reason people want one-handed keyboards.

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