What is this?
This keyboard is what I started making for myself while working as a software engineer at LINE, the mobile messenger company. I failed to find a keyboard that looked perfect for me, so I decided I’d build one. So, in the beginning, it was a personal project entirely for myself. But people started telling me “What is this?” “How much is it?” “I want to buy it.” “Sell it already!”
So I started this mass production project. Calculation told me that 1,000 unit demand should enable mass production and offer a reasonable price. This is a crowdfunding project where we will try to gather 1,000 people, and if we do, we deliver the product at the price almost as low as the production cost.
So we’re trying to find 1,000 people who are willing to buy Moonrim II, the “liftless” keyboard with a trackball that lets you make all input without ever taking your hands away from the default position, at the price of $179 and international shipping at $19 or less.
This is a fixed goal funding, so if it doesn’t reach the goal until the end of the campaign, the project is canceled and you will be refunded. There is no risk on your side, rest assured.
- Liftless: Moonrim II is a liftless keyboard. By liftless we mean you never have to lift your hand during the input. Numpad, arrow keys, ESC, and even the mouse control can be done precisely and quickly without ever leaving the default position.
- Musculoskeletal Anatomy: There are so many input devices claiming to be ergonomic, but most of them have little medical grounds. Moonrim II’s design is based on musculoskeletal anatomy. This let us minimize pain and maximize comfort while aiming the best productivity.
- Adjustable tilting: The prototype has the fixed 75-degree tilting angle, but the crowdfunding model will have the adjustable tilting feature. 75, 60, 45, 30, … Just as you want it. Set it to any angle that maximizes your comfort and protect your health by avoiding prolonged pronation and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Won’t it slip? Announcement about the tilting angle
- High-performance mechanical keyboard: This is a work of a keyboard fan, with a pride as an engineer. Authentic Cherry MX mechanical switches. Avago’s ADNS-3050 gaming optical sensor.
- Trackball, always accessible: The thumb can always touch the trackball even when you are in the middle of typing. Despite being not as well-known as mice, trackballs have a good reputation in the input device community, with better wrist protection and less space consumption. Moonrim II’s trackball is a standard size (34mm) one, not a miniature. It allows you the pointer control as fast and precise as a mouse or a touchpad.
- Efficent positioning of the keys: To err is human, and that’s why the Backspace is almost always in the top 3 most frequently pressed keys. Traditional keyboards exiled this paramountly important key. Moonrim II’s default layout put the Backspace at an always-reachable position and made sure that the more pressed keys are at easier-to-press spots.
- No more finger twisting for Ctrl+Shift+T: Keys that make special meaning by getting pressed together with other keys, such as Ctrl, Alt, and Shift, are called the modifers. Traditional keyboards put these modifiers on the pinky side, making it painful to press them. The four fingers from the index to the pinky are internally connected by ligaments and tendons, so they don’t operate independently, but we force them to do so and cause pain. Such pain, when repeated, can cause tendosynovitis and repetitive strain injury (RSI). Moonrim II puts a directional click switch on the thumb, allowing the input combination with Ctrl, Alt, and Shift without ever stretching the ligaments. Pressing the switch diagonally will make Ctrl+Shift or Ctrl+Alt with a single touch. Reprogram them to use as a d-pad!
- Reprogrammable keyboard: Moonrim II is made by a programmer. With Arduino/Genuino compatible board, Moonrim II allows modifying and sharing the firmware in the standard development environment. Customize the key layout, add smart action keys, or even smart sequences and combinations. Supports QMK.
- Check out the crowdfunding for a more detailed explanation.
If you compare $179 to other mechanical keyboards (and especially if you add the price for a trackball device) you will notice this is oddly low. Some people even asked me if this is possible at all that they are suspicious it could be a scam. This price is possible because I do not seek profit here.
The goal is $200,000 which is calculated by adding the cost of the required parts for 1,000 keyboard units, the cost to build the metal mold and do the plastic injection molding, the cost to rent a factory, and many other entries including the parts shipping cost. My wage is not really considered here.
The information regarding the price for the Cherry MX mechanical switches, the trackball, the optical sensor, the controller board, etc. are all public on the internet. With a little bit more research you will also find how much it costs to rent a factory and do the injection molding in South Korea. It should be numerically clear that I won’t be able to obtain personal profit. Moonrim II is the way I express my gratitude to the people who showed their support to the design principles of this keyboard, as well as an engineering challenge that I always wanted to take once.
(If this crowdfunding does succeed, I might be able to become one of the keyboard makers that develop innovative input devices, but even if that were possible, that would be in a distant future…)
Reasons you should pre-order now
To give you some faith, this project is a fixed goal crowdfunding. $200K is the minimal budget with which I can try the mass production, and if I told you that I could do it with less money, I’d be lying. So, that’s eliminated. I only get funded if it reaches the goal.
If it fails to reach the goal until the end of the campaign, the project gets canceled, your payment gets refunded, and I don’t get any money at all. Then Moonrim II will never happen, and the prototype I built for myself will be the first and the last Moonrim. That’s why you should pre-order now.
$179 is close to the production cost, pushing the limit of the price that is only possible in this crowdfunding. Even if this keyboard does get some attention and form a market, the next batch will have to be much more expensive, around $300. That’s why you should pre-order now.
Obviously, the pre-orders will be processed in a first-come-first-served manner. We expect to deliver the complete keyboard in 2019, but after the end of this campaign, even if I were able to produce more, you will receive it much later. That’s why you should pre-order now.
Who are we?
My name is Han Gyeol and I’m known as xt. I used to be a software engineer but now I’m doing hardware engineering. Here’s a bit of my track record (if it helps you trust me): I studied computer science at Hanyang University, and worked as a server-side programmer at LINE, the mobile messenger company. At LINE I held the LINE Haskell Boot Camp and presented The Monad Fear. More about me is on xtendo.org, my personal website.
I’ve been a programmer for some time, embracing keyboard as a tool to make a living. My years of typing began in 1993, programming since 1995, professionally since 2008; Much of my life, especially the recent decade of career, has been spent flexing and extending fingers on an input device. One day I realized the keyboards were ruining my health, so I looked for a perfect keyboard for myself but couldn’t find any. I did use some ergo keyboards out there but never got really satisfied. I started building one as a personal project. Then people began to show interest. That’s how I ended up trying to gather 1,000 people.
Ahn Shinho a.k.a. hstara (https://hstara.com) graduated the University of Seoul, Republic of Korea, with a bachelor’s degree in science in taxation. He wished to live an earnest life as a finance expert up until his friend xt abducted him and talked him into making crazy keyboards.
Your help is vital
We really want to deliver this, and we need your help. Other than backing us in the crowdfunding, there are still many ways you can help us. Tell your friend about Moonrim II; messages, tweets, blog posts, or any kind of noise you make will let more people know.
We plan to constantly update some news during the campaign. Never miss:
- Subscribe to the latest news from Moonrim via the Atom feed.
- Follow us on Twitter: @MoonrimProject.
- Follow us on Instagram: @moonrimllc.
- Subscribe to Moonrim’s Youtube Channel.
There is a lot to be taken cared of if you plan to produce 1,000 keyboards with a design not quite available in the market. First you have to import the parts; a bewildering number of them. This causes equally bewildering tax and tariff. You also need to rent a factory and acquire the necessary facilities including robotics. That is also taxed. For a project not looking for much profit, all this is not affordable. Fortunately the South Korean law allows “tech startups” to deal with these in a somewhat less terrifying ways and with tax credits. That’s why Moonrim LLC was established: A company solely dedicated to the Moonrim II mass production project.
Moonrim’s motto is “Humans should not adapt to machines; Machines should adapt to humans.” Moonrim is a deliberately ambiguous name. In Korean, Moonrim may mean “forest of text”, “forest of questions”, or “forest of doors”, all of which sound-d fit for a brilliant input device.
- 1808, Achasanro 229, Gwangjin, Seoul, South Korea
- CEO: Ahn Shinho
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Business Registration No. 778-81-00757
- Online Sales Report No. 2017-SEOULGURO-1464