The History and Evolution of Mechanical Keyboards
Since their inception in the 1980s, mechanical keyboards have undergone a significant evolution, from their original designs to the more advanced and sophisticated keyboards we see today. In this article, we will take a look at the history of mechanical keyboards, their rise in popularity, and the different iterations that have been made to improve their design and functionality.
The first mechanical keyboards were made with individual switches that used springs and metal contacts to register keystrokes. These keyboards were durable and long-lasting, but they were also large, heavy, and expensive. In the 1990s, membrane keyboards became more popular due to their low cost and smaller size, and mechanical keyboards fell out of favor.
It wasn't until the early 2000s that mechanical keyboards started to make a comeback. One of the most popular mechanical keyboards of this time was the IBM Model M, which had a cult following among enthusiasts. The Model M was praised for its tactile feedback, durability, and sound, and it set the standard for future mechanical keyboards.
Today, there are a wide variety of mechanical keyboard switches available from various manufacturers. Each switch type has unique characteristics that cater to different preferences, such as clicky, tactile, or linear switches. Some of the most popular switch manufacturers are Cherry, Kailh, and Gateron.
In recent years, there has been a trend toward low profile mechanical switches, which are designed to reduce the overall height of the keyboard. This trend was started by Cherry's MX Low Profile switch, which was released in 2018. These switches have a shorter travel distance and actuation point compared to traditional mechanical switches, making them more responsive and comfortable to type on. Some popular low profile switches include Kailh Choc, Gateron Low Profile, and Cherry MX Low Profile RGB.
In the future, we may see the development of ultra-low profile mechanical switches, which would be even thinner than current low profile switches. As technology advances, it is likely that we will see even more innovations in mechanical keyboard design and functionality.
In conclusion, the history and evolution of mechanical keyboards is a testament to the enduring popularity of this technology. From their early beginnings to the modern designs, mechanical keyboards have proven to be durable, reliable, and highly customizable. With the trend toward low profile switches and potential development of ultra-low profile switches, the future of mechanical keyboards looks bright.