Like any keyboard, you can use the Das Keyboard 5Q to type up messages, control your favorite games, and perform other input tasks on a computer. Unlike them, it doubles as a notification tool that you can program to keep you informed of any action, event, or status you want to track.
No, it doesn’t come with a special display that shows notifications. Instead, it uses the backlighting built into each key. Basically, you can assign any key to reflect any status you want, triggering it to show specific colors based on specific states. For instance, you can set the letter M on your keyboard to light up in green when you get a new mail in your priority inbox, then turn to yellow once you get more than five unread mails, and red once the total racks up to 10 or more. That way, you’ll be informed when important messages are piling up and you may need to take a break from whatever you’re doing to attend to them.
The Das Keyboard 5Q is an erstwhile standard high-end keyboard, with Omron Gamma-Zulu mechanical key switches, RGB LED backlighting, and a 6.5 foot braided USB cable for hooking up to your PC. A knob button on the upper-right corner will bring up to accompanying Q app when it’s pressed, allowing you to program how the key backligh ting works. It can interface with any data source that’s accessible to either IFTTT or Zapier with no programming on your part, although the technically-inclined can use the available API to easily expand the capabilities.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Das Keyboard 5Q. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $139.