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Keyboard generates electricity for notebooks

Compaq comes out with some cracking ideas, doesn't it

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Compaq has developed a keyboard that generates electricity as you type, and thus keep your laptop battery charged. This is one of those nifty ideas that seems so obvious once stated that you wonder why you didn't think of it first. Compaq has patented the idea in the US, but it was one of the company's software engineers, Adrian Crisan, who came up with the design. Each key on the keyboard has tiny permanent magnet on it, which when passed through wire coils surrounding the shaft, induces a tiny current. The current charges a capacitor, which in turn charges the computer's battery. Initially, the system will make a laptop heavier and more expensive, but Compaq predicts that as with other components, this may not be the case for long. Crisan said: "Consumers are willing to pay for longer battery life. [This keyboard] could mean a 1kg notebook instead of a 1.5kg machine, or one that would last 10 hours on one charge as long as you keep typing." The modified design should not affect the way the keyboard feels to users either, as most keyboard already have springs under keys in case they stick. Crisan says that the generator should not add any noticeable resistance to the typist. Compaq UK appeared to be taken completely by surprise by this development. No one in the UK or the US could be found for comment, but a PR bunny said: "We really don't know how word of this got out." Was it supposed to be a secret? ®

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