Hacoa, a brand known for its high-quality, hand-made wooden keyboards and peripherals, will soon begin offering a do-it-yourself type keyboard kit that allows the purchaser to cut the keys from a plank of wood and assemble the pieces.
Yamaguchi Kougei, the wood products and lacquerware dealer based in Fukui prefecture that created the Hacoa brand, typically crafts each keyboard by hand in a labor-intensive process that allows them to complete one keyboard per day. The slow production process makes it difficult for the company to fill large orders and prompts them to charge around 50,000 yen ($435) per keyboard. However, Hacoa's new "Ki-Board DIY Kit" (ki, which sounds like "key," means "tree" or "wood" in Japanese) aims to lighten the company's labor load -- and boost production and lower prices -- by letting the purchaser do some of the cutting and assembling at home.
The kits, which come in maple or walnut, include a USB keyboard base, a wooden plank with the beginnings of keys carved into it (the letters have already been hand-carved into each key), connectors for attaching the finished keys to the keyboard base, a saw, sandpaper and other tools.
Marubeni Infotec plans to market and sell the kits through their monoDO website, which is scheduled to go online October 18. The kits will be priced at around 34,800 yen ($300) each.
[Source: IT Media]