Alex White has had Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) for over 20 years. So when he saw a press release titled ‘Bye Bye RSI’ he was intrigued…
Sadly the keyboard in question The Penclic Mini Keyboard (£41 from Posturite) was unavailable for previewing (and the 2 customer reviews were less than glowing) but instead I was sent a mouse that also “helps prevent RSI”.
A mouse that looks like a pen
The Penclic is actually quite a good idea. It’s shaped like a pen – something that has never caused me pain, unlike the pesky mouse. (I have never suffered from scrivener’s palsy or writer’s cramp.) It is also suitable for right- and left-handed users.
Despite some misgivings about set-up, I was able to make it work reasonably well almost straight out of the box. The problem is that using a mouse is so ingrained in me now that I keep wanting to reach for it.
Thanks to voice recognition (which I use for long pieces of writing like this blog), I have been able to manage my RSI reasonably well and can use keyboard and mouse, often alternating hands, when I need to.
Keyboards have improved over the years. (The one that caused my initial problem required me to repeatedly hit the enter key to move the cursor!) But I’m skeptical that a smaller, ergonomic one would be a miracle cure. And if you have dexterity problems I doubt that it will be easy for you to use.
The Penclic may help some people but in common with a lot of special equipment for disabled people it costs quite a lot. To see if it will work for you, I would suggest you use the 14-day trial.