SoftStep KeyWorx: The World’s First Foot-Operated Computer Keyboard

June 23, 2011

10:35 am

Keith McMillan Instruments (KMI) has come up with a way to let you control your computer with your feet. The SoftStep KeyWorx is the world’s first foot-controlled digital interface, bringing computer use to amputees and RSI sufferers.

The device’s 10 pressure-sensitive buttons can store up to 100 sets of customized commands, so the directional pad can be used to control almost any function on a computer. That’s right, you can do pretty much everything with this thing – from launching an application to dodging enemy fire while you’re playing Call of Duty.

Weighing just one pound, the KeyWorx is small enough to fit in your backpack or briefcase. The plug-and-play device is USB powered, so it’s perfect for when you’re on-the-go.

The KeyWorx is primarily being used in recording studios, but I see a lot of possibilities for the foot-controlled setup. It offers a lot of access for people with disabilities, for one, and the programmable keys would also be helpful for a coder who frequently has to enter the same key sequence over and over. The gaming application for this thing would be sweet, too – what if you could press a button to crouch behind cover, or stomp on a button to activate your grenade launcher? Too cool.

A promising device that lets you use your computer hands-free, the SoftStep KeyWorx is available now for $290. You can check it out here and see a demo video of how it works below.

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Trisha Cruz is a Tech Cocktail intern with a passion for writing and design. She is a rising third year at the University of Virginia majoring in Media Studies and minoring in Studio Art. Follow her at: @heytrisha

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