The Wooting one explained

Analog versus Digital input

Analog versus Digital input

Analog or analogue doesn’t mean it works on gears and bolts. It’s about analog and digital input. For example, a joystick is analog input and YXAB buttons from a controller is digital input.

Digital Input

This is the input you’re familiar with on keyboards. Digital input consists of 2 states, ON or OFF. For example, when you tap your spacebar once, the PC sees that it went ON and then OFF once.

When you hold down the spacebar, the PC thinks it’s in a constant ON state. Often, it will just repeat the ON state at a repeated rate. Just like holding down the A in a text editorrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Analog input

You’re already familiar with analog input if you’ve ever touched a joystick. Slowly move it into any direction and you can get granular input. Analog input can have many different states, it’s a variable.

On the Wooting one, it reads how far down you press a key for analog input. The further you press, the stronger the signal from 0-100%. This also allows granular input, a variable.

Cool right? But that’s not all it can read. It can also see how fast you press a key from 0 to 100%. Another input dimension just like touch force on iPhones.

Wooting one can do both

The Wooting one can read digital and analog input at the same time or use either one of them. We’ve simplified it on the Wooting one with a “mode” key. With the mode key you can switch between digital or analog mode. In that way, you can always resort back on the trusty ol’ keyboard.

Now the question is, what to do with all these input dimensions.

Analog Input in Games

Analog Input in Games

Console gaming is already familiar with analog input using analog sticks on a controller. On the PC we don’t have any analog input with our main drivers; keyboard and mouse. Unless you have a Wooting one keyboard. You can get all the same analog functions that console gamers know and love on the PC with your keyboard.

The most obvious use of analog input in games is movement. Just like a left analog stick. Now, you can use the WASD or any other 4 keys to simulate that exact same type of granular movement. Like so:

Overwatch-gameplay

Analog input for granular movement is just scratching the surface. There is a lot more possible but first, let me explain how we can make this immediately work in games.

No software, no developer support

You can plug the Wooting one into the PC and immediately start using analog input in games. No software, no hacks, or developer support. It’s that simple and this is how we do it.

Simple explanation:

When you plug in the Wooting one the PC doesn’t just see a Keyboard but also a (Xbox) controller and gamepad. Through the controller and gamepad input we can send analog input in games.

For example. In the previous Binding of Isaac example we use WASD to control his movement. The PC actually thinks we’re using a (Xbox) controller left analog stick. When we press W, it thinks we pushing it up, A to the left, D to the right, S to the bottom.

Pressing a combination of WASD will result in the corresponding analog movement you’d expect.

We’ve already setup the Wooting one with default settings, best for gaming but in the end, it’s up to you. If you install the configuration software, you can adjust all the default settings. More about this below.

Elaborating on this concept.

(skip this if you’re not interested in technical blabla)

The PC doesn’t understand what an analog mechanical keyboard is. Whenever our keyboard would talk analog input to the PC, it’s an unknown language.

The PC can learn new languages by installing drivers but there is no such thing as an analog keyboard driver.

We could make an analog keyboard driver for PCs but then you will have another 2 problems:

1. You will always need to download and install this driver to use analog on the keyboard. You can’t just plug it in on any PC and expect it to work.

2. There are no API, SDK’s or anything that supports our driver language. That help game developers add support in their games. We’d also have to make that.

To elaborate on the second point. The driver translates the language for the PC from A to Z but the information sent doesn’t make any sense. To make the information easy to understand and usuable for game developers, you need an API. Application Programming Device (API).

That’s why it’s much smarter to use existing supported drivers and APIs instead. PC gaming on Windows that’s the Xbox controller (API: Xinput) and gamepads (API: Directinput). These devices are already supported by Windows with software kits that Game developers use.

The Wooting one is a compilation of a Keyboard, Xbox controller, and gamepad. It can talk in all three of those languages but the PC still sees it as one device at all times. No funky stuff.

Not every game is compatible

Analog movements/actions are only available in games that support a gamepad or Xbox controller. If the game supports an Xbox controller. It also has to allow the use of a Xbox controller and keyboard/mouse at the same time.

Few games don’t work properly; when it detects a controller it will disable the keyboard or mouse. For most games you still need your mouse.

We’re always working on new solutions and dedicated to make analog keyboards awesome. As we progress, so will the range of the possibilities.

The configuration software

The configuration software

A technical thing. Every person has their own gaming preferences and every game has their own settings. The configuration software helps you change all the default settings on the Wooting one.

It also allows you to customize and program all different kind of advanced functions. This is when things get exciting. gently returns geeky glasses back into position. After you made all these changes, it’s all saved on the keyboard. So you can plug it into any other PC and it works exactly the same.

We will expand the config software with an increasing amount of complex options but for launch, we’re focused on these basic needs:

  • Mapping gaming controls
  • Tweaking analog sensing
  • Configure RGB lighting options
  • Make macros
  • Manage different profiles

Mapping gaming controls

Maybe when you play a racing game you like to steer with the arrow keys, accelerate with W and brake with spacebar. If you want to steer left and right with analog control, the PC needs to think your arrow keys is the left analog stick. But, by default, we mapped left analog stick on WASD. Oops.

That’s why we recommend installing the configuration software. You can change all the settings we’ve setup on the keyboard. You can map the (Xbox) controls anywhere on the keyboard and even duplicate the controls. So you can have left analog stick mapped to both the WASD and the arrow keys.

In the above situation, we would map the accelerate trigger button on the W, the braking trigger on spacebar and left analog stick on the arrow keys.

The situation above also applies for gamepad control but then there’s a lot more options. A gamepad has a bunch more analog controls available than a Xbox controller but the game has to support Gamepad (DirectInput) to make use of them. Star Citizen is one of those games that supports Gamepad, Xbox controller, Mouse and Keyboard. All at the same time.

Tweaking analog sensing

Analog control isn’t a linear or straight line process. Every step down the analog sensing from, let’s say, 1 to 100 is divided into different chunks for every game.

For example. For every 20 steps of analog sensing, your in-game character will move forward faster. The first 20 steps do nothing or in other words is a dead zone. The game developer programs these chunks for a handheld controller stick. But on the Wooting one we use four keys.

In a game, it could be the case that you feel your character moves too fast, too early. That’s why you can also tweak the analog sensing on the Wooting one. You can personalize the sensing to your preferences, whenever necessary.

By default, you probably won’t have to touch this often but you never know.

Managing keyboard profiles

With all the options explained above, you don’t want everything to be static. You don’t want to use the same settings for a racing game as you would for an FPS game or when you’re on a total typing craze.

By default, the Wooting one will have 3 configurable profiles and 1 fail-safe profile. We will configure the 3 profiles according to 3 most common genre use. The 4th profile is a regular keyboard without frills or crazy things.

You’ll need the configuration software to adjust, add or remove profiles. If you’ve installed the configuration software. You can even change the profile you’re using based on the application that is running. Furthermore, you can export and import profiles to share with the community.

We’re just in a starting phase with this development. It’s subject to change after receiving more feedback with the intent to make it better.

Other features

You can configure all the RGB LEDs, create macro keys and have full programmability. We’re still testing out different other functionalities and looking at its feasibility.

That’s why we have Beta testers helping us before we mass deliver the Wooting one. We are always working on the further improvement and enhancement of the Wooting one. Your feedback will play a major role in this

Flaretech switches

Technically powerfull

Technically powerfull

Coming soon…

Topics:

  • What is less than 1ms input speed
  • What are NKRO and Anti-ghosting
  • What is the onboard memory

We are Wooting

We are Wooting

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Topics:

  • We strive to make analog keyboards the industry standard
  • We give power to the gaming community
  • How we operate
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