A new variant of the official Raspberry Pi keyboard has been unveiled today for Japan by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The complex keyboard required new set of mouldings for the 83-key arrangement and three different character sets. You can get the new Japanese keyboard variant in red and white from the Pi approved reseller, SwitchScience, based in Japan. Simon Martin explains more about the development of the unique keyboard over on the official Raspberry Pi Blog :
“We ended up reverse-engineering generic Japanese keyboards to see how they work, and mapping the keycodes to key matrix locations. We are fortunate that we have a very patient keyboard IC vendor, called Holtek, which produces the custom firmware for the controller. Figuring out how the USB keyboard controller maps to all the special keys on a Japanese keyboard was particularly challenging, with most web searches leading to non-English websites. Since I don’t read Japanese, it all became rather bewildering.”
“We then had to get these prototypes to our contacts in Japan, who told us which keys worked and which just produced a strange squiggle that they didn’t understand either. The “Yen” key was particularly difficult because many non-Japanese computers read it as a “/” character, no matter what we tried to make it work. Special thanks are due to Kuan-Hsi Ho of Holtek, to Satoka Fujita for helping me test the prototypes, and to Matsumoto Seiya for also testing units and checking the translation of the packaging.”
Source : Raspberry Pi Blog
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