The aesthetics of the modern keyboard reminds me of the U.S. car industry several years ago: uninspired.
Enter the Orée wooden keyboard, nearly made in full out of Mother Nature's greatest asset. French entrepreneur Julien Salanave came up with Orée and works in collaboration with a small design team in southern France to produce the wooden Bluetooth 3.0 wireless keyboard.
And to address my previous point -- I'm not trying to insult the aging input device, which, most certainly evolved greatly in function and form over the decades (just take a look at any gaming keyboard or Apple's svelte wireless version), but maybe we should think twice before confining our fingers to plastic buttons.
The Orée comes in shades of maple or walnut, and each keyboard derives from only one sheet of wood. The designers quickly point out on their Web site that the 125 euro ($164 + $32 shipping) Orée derives from various milling technologies and woodworking techniques before being polished, oil-finished, and assembled by hand.
"Orée was born from our observation that modern technology products look very much alike, are highly impersonal, made out of eco-unfriendly materials and are designed for rapid obsolescence," says the product's Web site.
In a rather neat twist to the norm, when ordering the Orée, you can choose from up to three fonts for the keys, option for several country-specific layouts, or go with a Windows and Mac version.
Of course, those looking for a cheaper option may want to opt for Brando's bamboo wireless keyboard and mouse combo, which only costs $89.