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Modular mechanical keyboard switches could let users mix and match keys

kaihua prepares custom key switches mechanical keyboards computex
Matt Smith/Digital Trends

Mechanical keyboards have seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years, especially among PC enthusiasts who demand perfection from every aspect of their build. Now, Chinese manufacturer Kaihua is preparing a way for customers to take even greater control.

The company is creating modular switches that would allow users to change the switch type of individual keys, according to a report from Tom’s Hardware. Kaihua offers its Kaihl switches in red, brown and blue variants, each of which is tailored to satisfy a particular type of usage.

The differences between individual switches boil down to attributes like the amount of force needed to activate a key, or how much noise is produced by keystrokes. The former might be of paramount importance to a gamer, whereas someone who largely uses their keyboard for typing might opt for the latter.

Related: The mechanical keyboards at Computex prove Steve Jobs was wrong about the PC

Modular switches should allow users to enjoy the best of both worlds. For instance, most keys on the keyboard could utilize the quiet key switches, whereas a group of keys commonly used in video game control schemes like WASD could be outfitted with the more tactile switch.

Not everyone will be sufficiently interested in the performance of their keyboard to fine-tune its operation on a switch-by-switch basis. However, there is certainly an audience looking for that amount of precise control, and they will no doubt appreciate Kaihua’s efforts to facilitate such a high level of customization.

Kaihua has yet to confirm which keyboard manufacturers are planning to use these module switches, or how long we can expect to wait before we see them implemented. However, Taiwanese peripheral designer B.Friend will apparently be among the first to use the components, which are set to feature in its G Master MK1 keyboard.