Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wacom + Keypads = Steno?

Could this be an answer to our steno hardware problem? It talks about unlimited multitouch, up to 20 fingers or more. If you program in a steno keyboard layout and stick some keypads on there for ergonomic feedback, could that serve as a poor man's Lightspeed? The question is whether it'll actually be cheaper. Low-end drawing tablets have gotten quite reasonable in price; I saw one at Staples the other day that boasted multitouch (meaning up to three inputs at a time) and went for only $50. But this looks like a flagship model, and I know some of the top-of-the-line drawing tablets go for several thousand. Still, there's a lot bigger market out there for those than there currently is for steno machines, so if the price comes down in a year or two we might have our solution.


  1. Thanks for posting info on Wacom's Unlimited Finger Touch System Prototype. I am a steno student looking into "the future" of hardware in this field. Whatever happened to the Stenovations Lightspeed keyboard? I haven't learned anything about software yet, but as an older student, I am looking ahead at the eventual fatigue using the traditional keyboard. Do you think we are we all going to be using an ipad some day? Because I've not been able to find anything about the Lightspeed, I've got to wonder if the technology has been bought up and filed away somewhere....

  2. Hi, Bigporch. The Stenovations Lightspeed is very popular. I know lots of people who own them and like them a lot.

    There's even a forum devoted to them:


    If you want one, I think you can order one from here:


  3. The reason I mentioned "whatever happened...?" is that it appears you can't order a keyboard from the website. I haven't actually called the company number yet, but if you go to the products page (unless I am really missing something) there are none available: https://www.stenovations.com/products/index.php

  4. It's probably worth a call. I've noticed that internet ordering is broken on several steno machine companies' sites, even though I know for a fact they're still selling them. Good luck, and let me know how it goes! If I were to buy a non-ergonomic machine, it would probably be a LightSpeed, but I'm holding out for a homebrew version, once Plover gets off the ground.

  5. It might be the answer to our steno hardware problem. If they will be releasing this product in the market, I think people will dig this.


  6. Huh. Yeah, thank for the link, Ryan. That Capacitive switch film looks especially interesting. I wish I had more electronics knowledge; I'd love to cook up a wearable steno keypad out of that stuff.

  7. Well, I'm not a poor man, but I hate to pay thousands of dollars for a machine I know doesn't have the hardware cost of more than a hundred dollars. It is a captive market -- even if the consumer base jumped to double what it is today, the companies out there will still want to charge thousands of dollars. I haven't quite figured that out. There are a lot of good used machines from those who have given up on becoming court reporters. Still, I want a machine that is portable -- the Lightspeed is great -- they are only selling the court reporter model now -- they at first were selling the newest model without the bells and whistles -- now it is standard, and the price is about $3k. I specify that is not so bad -- but I don't need the bells and whistles -- I am proudly a certified CART provider [And certified court interpreter]. I really hope that the situation will be resolved with the Stenosaurus. I like the idea of not carrying a load full of equipment when I caption nightly at the university. Meanwhile, I will wait. I have tried the new Lightspeed, and it is a great machine. Still, I want to be one of the first customers of Stenosaurus, when it is available.

    Mark from Sacramento, California