Experimenting at the edge of the forest: the Orée keyboard and other computer kit made from wood #technobiophilia

This is the first in a series of posts categorised Experiments. They’ll offer ideas for practical experiments with technobiophilia and I very much hope readers will try them out, refine them, and share their results in the comments or elsewhere.

Oree keyboard http://oreedesign.com/
Oree keyboard http://oreedesign.com/

During my talk at Café Scientifique this week we discussed wooden computer kit and whether it offers a worthwhile technobiophilic experience. This piece in The Independent by Jamie Merrill describes his experience of using the Orée wooden keyboard for a week. He says “In French, Orée means “at the edge of the forest”, which sounds pretty technobiophilic to me. It does “everything a normal keyboard does except with the soundtrack of the forest, well, nice wooden tapping sounds” and, he says, “the best bit is the sensation of typing – it’s lovely.” All in all he seemed to like it but wasn’t ecstatic about the £130 price tag.

Urban Factory bamboo mouse
Urban Factory bamboo mouse

I don’t use a separate keyboard these days, but I do prefer a mouse to a touchpad and I own a very pretty bamboo optical mouse with a blue plastic wheel which lights up and looks really quite beautiful. It’s made by Urban Factory and I bought mine at Amazon. Currently it costs £21.62.  It feels very comfortable to use, and visually it blends in nicely with my wooden desk (see picture). And I really enjoy the combination of the bright blue plastic wheel against the warm texture of the wood.

But what I’d really like to own is a wooden phone, maybe something like the Touch Wood from Sharp. Sadly it’s only available in Japan at the moment but surely it won’t be long until we get something like that in the West. And Android, please :) Has anyone seen one? Please let me know if so. Meanwhile, enjoy the video.

Have you experimented with any kit made from wood? And do you have any information about whether they’re made from sustainable materials etc? Please share your experience.

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