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iKey designs customized, wearable keyboard for SpecOps Systems

11th February 2010 - 09:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


SpecOps Systems, Inc. has a unique mission: designing rugged, wearable computer technology to provide enhanced situational awareness of the battle space for military soldiers to use in the field. Their WC2 computer system performs like an extremely powerful desktop computer, but is designed to be worn and carried by a soldier during live action for extended periods of time.

In the summer of 2009, a SpecOps Systems customer asked for a WC2 computer with an integrated keyboard. The keyboard had to be small enough to fit within the system, while maintaining the durability required for extensive use in harsh environments. SpecOps Systems turned to iKey for a solution.

"We saw that iKey had experience with the military and they had a unit similar to what we wanted," said Caroline Tucker, Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development for SpecOps Systems. "The thing that impressed us the most about iKey was that we told them what we needed, and quickly had a conference call to discuss the details. Literally, within 24 hours, we had a prototype drawing. It was this focus on the customer that led us to go with iKey rather than any other vendor - we knew we had found a vendor who embraced our requirements."

Seven weeks after the initial conference call, SpecOps Systems had a working prototype of the KYB-170-OEM, an ultra-compact keyboard measuring only 2.55" x 2.75" x 0.22" (w-h-d) that is packed with functionality. The initial prototype was delivered as "production ready" within the required timeframe, without a need for engineering changes to the firmware, printed circuit board or mechanical drawings.

"iKey was great to work with," Tucker said. "They really seemed to care about getting the product right for our customer, and they understood our time constraints."

Features on the KYB-170-OEM include a 17-key keypad that functions just like a cellular phone does when texting. Characters are accessed by pressing the appropriate key sequentially until the desired character is produced. It also features an integrated micro Force Sensing Resistor (FSR) pointing device and can be manufactured with any available color of LED lighting for use in dark environments.

The KYB-170-OEM is completely sealed to NEMA 4X specifications, which means it is resistant to dirt, dust, liquids and other ingress when properly installed. It is available with a USB cable and is designed to meet MIL-STD-461E requirements.

Several models of the WC2 featuring the integrated keyboard are now undergoing dual testing in theater and stateside. Meanwhile, iKey now offers the KYB-170-OEM as a standard product. iKey also continues to design customized, rugged peripheral solutions that meet the specific needs of customers.

Source: iKey


The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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