The Evolution of Mechanical Keyboards: From Typewriters to Gaming Peripherals - Goblintechkeys

The Evolution of Mechanical Keyboards: From Typewriters to Gaming Peripherals

In the early days of computing, keyboards were nothing more than simple input devices designed to transmit text to the computer. They were often bulky, heavy, and not particularly ergonomic, but they did the job. Over time, however, the humble keyboard has evolved into a complex and customizable peripheral with a wide range of features and capabilities. Today, mechanical keyboards have become the preferred choice for many users, especially gamers who require precision and speed in their keystrokes.

Mechanical keyboards use individual switches for each key, allowing for greater tactile feedback and durability. These switches can be customized to provide different levels of resistance, actuation points, and sound levels, giving users a wide range of options to choose from. In this article, we will take a closer look at the evolution of mechanical keyboards and explore how they have gone from simple typewriters to high-end gaming peripherals.

1800 typewriters keyboard history

The Early Days of Keyboards

The first keyboards were developed in the late 1800s for use with telegraph machines. These early devices were mechanical and required a significant amount of force to press each key. Over time, keyboards became more refined and were adapted for use with typewriters, allowing for greater speed and efficiency in typing.

With the advent of the computer, keyboards became an essential component of the new technology. Early keyboards were often made of heavy materials such as metal, with large, chunky keys that required a lot of force to press. They were not particularly ergonomic, and users often experienced hand fatigue and discomfort after extended use.

The Rise of the Membrane Keyboard

In the 1980s, a new type of keyboard was developed that would revolutionize the industry. The membrane keyboard used a thin, flexible layer of material with conductive traces that activated when a key was pressed. These keyboards were cheaper to produce and had a lower profile than their mechanical counterparts, making them an attractive option for many computer manufacturers.

Membrane keyboards were the standard for many years, with variations such as scissor-switch and rubber dome designs becoming popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. These keyboards were inexpensive, lightweight, and quiet, making them ideal for use in office environments where noise and distraction were a concern.

Membrane Keyboard
Membrane Keyboard With Japanese Layout

The Emergence of Mechanical Keyboards

While membrane keyboards were widely used and accepted, there was a growing niche market of users who desired a more tactile and responsive typing experience. This led to the resurgence of mechanical keyboards in the early 2000s, with enthusiasts and gamers embracing the technology for its precision and durability.

Mechanical keyboards use individual switches for each key, allowing for greater tactile feedback and customization. These switches can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and even gold, and can be customized to provide different levels of resistance and actuation points.

There are a variety of switch types available, with the most popular being Cherry MX switches. These switches come in different colors, each denoting a different level of tactile feedback and actuation force. For example, Cherry MX Red switches are linear and require little force to actuate, while Cherry MX Blue switches are tactile and clicky, requiring more force to actuate.

mechanical keyboard switches linear tactile clicky
Mechanical Switches 

Customizability and Personalization

One of the key advantages of mechanical keyboards is their customizability. Many keyboards allow users to change the keycaps, providing a personalized look and feel to the device. This can be especially important for gamers who want to quickly and accurately locate specific keys during gameplay.

Mechanical keyboards also allow for the customization of lighting effects, with RGB lighting becoming increasingly popular in recent years. These lighting effects can be used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the keyboard or to provide visual feedback during gameplay.

mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting

The Future of Mechanical Keyboards

As mechanical keyboards continue to gain popularity, we can expect to see further advancements in the technology. Companies are investing in research and development to create even more customizable and ergonomic keyboards that cater to the needs of gamers and professionals alike.

One area of focus is on improving the wireless capabilities of mechanical keyboards. Many gamers prefer wired keyboards due to the faster response times, but advancements in wireless technology could make it a more viable option in the future.

Another area of development is in the use of new materials for the switches. For example, some manufacturers are exploring the use of optical switches, which use light to detect keystrokes instead of physical contact. This technology could result in even faster response times and greater durability.

New Custom Design Interface

In addition to the advancements made by major keyboard manufacturers, there has also been a rise in demand for custom mechanical keyboards and keycaps. One company that has been at the forefront of this trend is Goblintechkeys.

Goblintechkeys specializes in creating custom keycaps and keyboards that are 100% customizable to the user's liking. With a wide variety of materials and designs to choose from, users can create a keyboard that truly reflects their personality and style, without limiting to plain colors on each keycaps. 

goblintechkeys keyboard
Custom Keycap Sets Self-designed by Clients

With the rise in popularity of mechanical keyboards, it's clear that customization is a key factor for many users. Companies like Goblintechkeys are catering to this demand by providing unparalleled levels of customization and attention to detail. Whether you're a gamer, programmer, or simply someone who appreciates a well-designed keyboard, Goblintechkeys is a great option for creating a truly unique and personalized typing experience.

goblintechkeys custom design keycaps
Custom Design Interface in


In conclusion, the evolution of mechanical keyboards has been a fascinating journey from the early days of bulky and heavy devices to the modern, customizable peripherals we see today. Mechanical keyboards have come a long way since their inception, and they continue to be a popular choice among gamers and professionals who demand precision and speed in their typing.

As technology advances, we can expect to see even more innovations in the world of mechanical keyboards, with companies investing in research and development to create even more advanced and customizable devices. With their tactile feedback, durability, and customizability, mechanical keyboards are here to stay and will undoubtedly continue to play an essential role in the world of computing for many years to come.

goblintechkeys 60% Mechanical keycaps
60% Custom Keycaps Designed by Client
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