How it all began…
The idea for the aTrackt! came about from a personal need. I’m a huge fan of Apple’s Glass Trackpads. For years I had hoped they would finally release a wireless keyboard with one of these multi-touch masterpieces built-in. While that never happened, they did the next best thing which was to release the pretty incredible Bluetooth Magic Trackpad. I picked up two the day they came out.
However, after a short while of using it with my Mac Pro, even with the trackpad’s larger size, I found myself less-productive than when using the smaller one built-in to my notebook. I was constantly pressing the wrong place on the trackpad with my thumb and often found the cursor’s orientation on screen to be slightly off from what I was expecting.
As both an engineer and a naturally curious person, I had to figure out why this kept happening on the Magic Trackpad but not on the notebook, so I started to really analyze what the differences were between the two. That’s when I realized it was actually caused by the Magic Trackpad’s tendency to ‘wander away’ from the side of my keyboard during use, sometimes rotating slightly in the process. This was exasperated by the fact that I routinely move my keyboard around my desk to make room for other things like drawing by hand, writing, reading books, or even just eating lunch. As a result, I was constantly having to reposition the trackpad to ‘put it back’ where it should be, something I simply don’t have to do on the notebook since they were always in a fixed position relative to each other.
At first I considered ordering one of the many ‘keyboard-trackpad’ trays which come in all shapes and sizes. Some wood, some plastic, some large, some small. But they almost always raised the keyboard and trackpad off of the desk or changed their incline, thus affecting their low-profile ergonomics or worse, causing wrist-strain; or they took up so much space on the desk it defeated the purpose of having wireless devices in the first place.
I knew there had to be a better way to give me the results I wanted while staying true to the minimal form and function of Apple’s industrial design, so I decided to try and create something myself. After several prototypes, a lot of false-starts and a very patient patent attorney, I finally came up with the designs you see here.
Simply put, I couldn’t be happier with the results. I hope you too agree.
I’m really excited to have the opportunity to bring both the aTrackt! and the aTrackt Go! to market. With a little luck and your support here through the incredible concept that is KickStarter.com, together we can make this project become a reality! And if this project becomes the success I truly believe it can be, hopefully someday soon you’ll be able to walk into an Apple retail store and find the aTrackt! family of products available for purchase, and you’ll know your personal support helped make that happen.
Thanks for checking out my aTrackt! project, and here’s to what comes next!
Mark A. Donohoe
Founder / Lead Designer
Inertial Design / IntuoSoft, LLC