The HX-S® keyboard series is an award winning, ergonomic wireless keyboard and includes the HX-S1® and the HX-SR1®. These keyboards offer a truly ergonomic design.
In collaboration with ergonomic researchers, Hakkei has developed the patent-pending Metaflex Curve®. This unique, curved keyboard shape places the hands at the optimal angle to relieve any strain on the wrist.
This natural, comfortable hand position helps to alleviate discomfort, especially pain caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
With accessibility in mind, it is ergonomically designed with the standard QWERTY layout to minimize the time needed for users to adapt to the product.
The keyboard features two detachable, fully wireless halves so users can separate and rotate modules independently to keep wrists straight and reduce ulnar deviation.
In addition, the keyboard has features that pair with the Configur® app to enable users the ability to create and share custom macros to improve their workflows.
The keyboard includes a 360º Utility Dial. This dial is fully programmable with the Configur® app to allow custom quick controls to be configured.
This means the simple turn of a dial can adjust the screen brightness, launch Mission Control, or provide access to media controls; it’s all dependent on how the user configures the dial within the app.
Another feature of the keyboard design is the inclusion of special macro keys. These keys can be assigned to different keyboard macros with the Configur® web app to create any keyboard shortcut that the user desires.
The wireless features, Utility Dial and macro keys are powerful design features, and their utility is further enhanced by the addition of the Configur® web app.
The product design won a Good Design Award in 2021 for the category of Electronics.
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Details on the founders(s):
Jonathan Lau is a first-time founder and technology professional in Silicon Valley. He is currently a lead software engineer at a fintech company, and he previously worked on advertising efforts for Facebook business sites at Facebook.
He graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science.
Hakkei started with his hobby of mechanical keyboards. He’s had an uncomfortable sensation in his hands and wrists since college, which gradually worsened over the years to the point where they were too painful to ignore. As a software developer, he used his hands for work most of the time.
Around this time Jonathan decided to explore ergonomic keyboards. He was working on Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park, and noticed that people often moved around the office’s open floor plan.
The idea popped into his head – how great it would be if there was a keyboard that could break in half without having one worry about wires getting in the way- perfect for working on couches, or writing notes away from my desk.
After 9 months of working with CAD designers and ergonomic researchers, he began sharing the project with people in community forums. This caught the attention of a manufacturer located in Hong Kong, and thus began a partnership to bring a new keyboard to market.
What fundamental problem does your product solve?
Our keyboard addresses three fundamental problems:
1. Over the last decade, we have seen a 382% rise in reported hand/wrist injury from office workers in the last decade.
2. The combination of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the shift to a work from home culture, has driven a 50-70% rise in time spent on computers.
3. Ergonomics is becoming an important factor for consumer decision-making.
A similar market to our own is the Ergonomic Chair Market (premium ergonomic goods). It is expected to rise at a CAGR of 8.4% from 12.76 Billion in 2020 to 23.95 Billion in 2028.
Our keyboard is for people using computers for long hours, especially creatives and engineers, who perform many of the same repetitive actions while interacting with their keyboard on a daily basis. Our users struggle to adapt to shortcuts hidden in menus and annoying help screens.
Our keyboard is also for people with disabilities who find it difficult to effectively configure a keyboard due to limited accessibility options.
Market and competitive research:
We have done a considerable amount of market research. In early 2020 we conducted a small survey of about 80 people, through social media, to gain design feedback.
Additionally, I regularly talk to our potential customers and have connected with vendors who are interested in carrying this product.
We have identified two issues with the modern keyboard and mouse usage. CTS and Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) can develop due to a combination of repetitive tasks and hardware that is not designed with ergonomics in mind. This makes working with a traditional keyboard uncomfortable and painful.
The frequent and repetitive tasks associated with computer use lead to low efficiency. A lot of time is wasted by moving hands away from the keyboard to complete the same repeated actions, with the mouse, over and over again.
This is time that can be saved with keyboard shortcuts, but adoption of shortcuts is challenging for the average computer user.
We have identified the following competitors:
Current project status:
After 4 prototype iterations, we successfully created our first working, physical prototype in August 2021. Due to supply chain problems, we had to take a premium approach to our product positioning and we are working on an aluminum housing that fits the price point.
Our core software is an important feature of our product, and we are about 2-3 months away from its MVP. Because of our requests from vendors, I am trying to raise capital to purchase units, in addition to finding distribution channels, and working on certifications and regulatory requirements.
At this time, we are a few months away from our low volume run. If everything goes well, then we will begin the tooling process.
Our focus is to get our product into the hands of writers, influencers, etc.. We will send out press releases as we work towards crowdfunding.
I am regularly in touch with our potential customers and have the opportunity to work closely with vendors who are interested in carrying this product. Additionally, we’ve been growing our social media and Discord community for about two years.
Having spent only $600 on ads since 2019, the customer feedback has been very positive. With our audience being mostly organic, our engagement rate is 11% on Instagram.
It’s encouraging to know that people spend 1 minute and 30 seconds on average on our website, and engage with our content. For now, we are focused on growing our email list by converting those who have connected with us before to subscribe to it. Feedback has been very positive overall.
Pitches to investors, pitch competitions, accelerators:
We have pitched our product, unsuccessfully. However, I have continued to refine our product positioning by taking into account the feedback from those conversations.
Key technologies and/or components used in product:
The key innovation of the HX-S Series is built into the Nordic NRF5280 BLE Module. We implemented proprietary firmware that enables the communication between the device and web technologies. This allows developers to implement features without embedded systems engineering.
The HX-S Series features a BLE 5.2 module, and runs on ZMK, a keyboard firmware library built on top of Zephyr RTOS.
Suggested retail price:
$310-$350 is our retail price target.
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Funding methods used so far:
Seeking outside funding?
Yes, we are seeking funding.
We have three design patents and one provisional utility patent. Unfortunately, we did not file the design patents in foreign jurisdictions because our resources are limited without outside investment.
In regards to trademarks and copyrights, we own the trademark for our company name, Hakkei. We are working on getting the trademark for our software application