OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Keyboards Need Space

Cybersecurity and privacy is framed by our relationship with technology. I wanted to show this by giving the keyboard a voice.

Photo of Ben Banks
3 1

Written by

Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

To give the keyboard a voice and some words I tried to make it look a little like a face (hoping paradolia works here). The keyboard is our main interface to the digital world, but it is a little unloved. The words express it's resentment, it's knowledge of your secrets and it's neediness (we feed the machine). There is also a class of keyboard based attacks - emissions detection, keystroke loggers, typing speed and key wear - so they are not beyond giving up their secrets. Finally there is a sub-message around stepping away from technology and either meeting or talking. The anthropomorphistic voice of inanimate objects is device used by PG Wodehouse and Douglas Adams to great effect - especially if they are installed with Genuine People Personality.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

Variation on the theme above. Keyboard group therapy. Slightly less plaintive. Tried to hold on to the idea of letting the text make a face.

What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have considerable experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a visual creator by hobby.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • Other

Location: City


Location: State / District


Location: Country

  • United Kingdom


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dima Boulad

Interesting idea about our keyboard therapy Ben Banks 
Our relationship to devices is a recurrent theme I've seen in different submissions as well:
Opt in - or you're out by Thomas Grimer or IOT Bowling over by AADHITHYA SUJITH 
Perhaps they can be good inspiration!

Photo of Jason Kravitz

I like the idea and subtle paradolia effect! Especially this concept "If keyboards could talk" - and the fact that a lot of what they'd say is BORING but there are some critical pieces of information scattered throughout.

I wonder in these days, depending on the target audience, if the message would be more relatable with a mobile device vs a desktop / laptop keyboard given that people likely spend more time tapping out words on their phone than computers. You could also play on the "autocomplete" hints at the top of the virtual keyboard.

Also could be a nod to the dangers of using a 3rd party keyboard on mobile -- recall the Ai.type breach in 2017 where 31 million users had their data exposed via an unsecured MongoDB database including 8.6 million text entries from users (with usernames, passwords and personal info), uploaded to the cloud without their permission.

Photo of Ben Banks

Jason Kravitz good shout on the ai.type breach - forgot about that. Totally agree that a mobile version would be good. I'd toyed with the idea, but chickened out at the last minute. Shoulda had the courage of my convictions. Love the idea of using autocomplete some how. Happy to share the underlying PNGs (laptop and mobile when I do it) if you want to have a play too.....let me know and I'll drop out a link.