July 21, 2020

USB Footpad Review

Thoughts on this Kinesis Savant Elite2 USB footpad.

I learned of it from reading about stenography & how people can type over 200 words-per-minute (that is very fast–give it a try with TypeRacer).

I have a friend who became a court stenographer after a career as a performance cellist.

She attributes her excellent stenography abilities to her piano-playing (using a footpedal)

Who it’s marketed to:

  • medical practitioners who need clean hands (think dentists)
  • auto mechanics w/ dirty hands
  • gamers who want to toggle their voice chat on/off (Discord)
  • phone operators (think call centers)
  • bank tellers triggering the silent alarm

My experiences

It requires serious brain re-training to effectively incorporate the footpedal into your human-computer interactions

It can’t be used for modifier keys in combination with your “main” keyboard (e.g. shift, control, etc.) due to Mac limitations.

Retraining myself to use my foot for spacebar is a big task–maybe it could work for backspace?

It’s difficult to configure what the footpedals do–I think it could be handy for opening specific apps (e.g. Chrome, Slack, IntelliJ), but those are uncommon actions (taken 10s of times a day)