Not being a gamer, I wasn't exactly sure what to make of the concept behind Keyboard Bumps. Keyboard Bumps is the brainchild of Buffalonian Jason Geiger, and the premise is fairly simple... one of those "Oh man, why didn't I think of that?" products. Jason recently wrote to me to tell me about his invention, and after taking a look I figured that I would pass his message along to the Buffalo gaming community.
Have you ever asked yourself why there are bumps on the the 'F' and 'J' keys? These bumps have been on keyboards for a long time and are meant to be a guide. Placing your pointer fingers on these bumps means that you are set to type the proper way.
There are thousands and thousands of silly inventions that have never found their niche. In the world of misfit inventions, I saw a niche for video gamers that use only their left hand on the keyboard. Placing Keyboard Bumps on your number keys will allow you to more easily play and win at online computer games. The jury is out to on if or how much these can improve your gaming but everybody who has bought these Keyboard Bumps so far have loved them.
I have a repeat buyer that works at Stanford. Stanford has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the nation, but some of their employees have easily accepted the effectiveness of Keyboard Bumps!
If only lonely video game players used Keyboard Bumps the story would end here. However, for a product to be truly successful, they sometimes switch niches. Surprisingly these tiny silicone Keyboard Bumps might actually make the world a slightly better place for some people.
What people could benefit from Keyboard Bumps? As it happens, people with nerve damage or other conditions such as stroke, often times lose much of their finger sensitivity. For some typing is effective as a typical person typing with gloves on. In many case Keyboard Bumps can really help. Sticking these bumps on several crucial keys give the extra "Grab" that certain victims of nerve damage need to regain some independence. Furthermore Keyboard Bumps can help out the visually impaired and those that are just learning to type or have other typing disabilities.
I created these bumps because I was tired of getting beaten by 12 year olds in Star Craft. I like the idea that they (Keyboard Bumps) have to potential to raise the quality of life for thousands of people. It's only a very small step, but any step forward is a good thing.
The story of Keyboard Bumps is a story about manufacturing in America and Buffalo in particular. People with good ideas often never see that idea come to market. Even simple prototypes can cost thousands of dollars. Without knowing if an idea is going to take off, the huge startup cost usually bars normal people with great ideas from ever seeing the product come to life. Then try to figure out how to make these cheaply, worry about websites, marketing, shipping, packaging,etc... Keyboard Bumps are custom molded silicone stickers that fit on any keyboard, button, house key, etc... Coming from a programming background, I had a difficult transition. This story rings true for many entrepreneurs and inventors in Buffalo. Finding manufacturing without investing thousands and thousands of dollars is a real gotcha.
I hate catch phrases but you really have to 'Think Outside the Box'. Right now Keyboard Bumps is outsourced but I know I can get these made in Buffalo and made cheaper by working smarter instead of harder. However, finding the people and companies to do this a real kick in the pants. Until every Joe Blow has a 3D printer sitting in their home, only big companies are going to be making products like this unless they find a way to do it more intelligently than other people.
While this small little start-up grows, I hopeful am that I can source the manufacturing locally, perhaps even purchase the manufacturing equipment and hire intelligent people as scale grows.
This is the best dumb product ever! Keyboards feel naked without them.
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