Split ergonomic keyboards are not new, but the Dygma Raise features open source software, interchangeable palm pads, hot-swappable mechanical switches, RGB backlight and underglow, four split spacebars, and four additional “under-row” keys for your thumbs. There will also be full N-key rollover, an aluminum case, and an extra USB port. The Kickstarter will be running until January 20, 2018 with an estimated delivery of Q4 2018.
Split keyboards can provide a more ergonomic experience by allowing you to rotate each half to a neutral position. This gives you the freedom to position the keyboard in the most comfortable location and may reduce wrist strain.
This can also be beneficial when gaming because you can use only the left half like a gaming keypad and leave more room on the desktop for your mouse. (For lefties, you can do the opposite–use the right half for gaming and keep your mouse close by on the left side.) The Raise will have magnetic connectors on each side of the keyboard to allow detaching and attaching. The only limitation is the lack of Bluetooth or any wireless functionality, but the two cables are also magnetic for connecting quickly.
Kailh Speed Switches in Gold, Bronze, Silver, and Copper will be available options as well as Cherry MX Blue, Red, and Brown. They also include Kailh low-profile switches for the four under-row keys; this is a clever design that allows the under-row to stay low and avoid getting in the way of the regular bottom row. Dygma will allow you to pick between Red, Brown (tactile), or White (clicky). Although the company’s Kickstarter fails to mention which of Kailh’s multiple low-profile switches it uses, it’s apparent that it’s the PG1350 series. Don’t forget, the switches are hot-swappable, so you can always swap them out if you change your mind.
The software and firmware are both open source, which will allow the community to improve and add features over time, and full programmability and layer adjustment will be available. The RGB underglow and backlighting can also be customized, and each configured layer can be assigned different colors so you can remind yourself what layer you’re on.