(From eSchool News September 2005 print edition)

Amid growing documentation that shared computer keyboards are a source of contamination and may account for the spread of infection, Unotron Inc. is promoting its line of SpillSeal washable keyboards, which the company says are sealed and protected from liquid or airborne penetration, making them easy to clean and safer for students and staff members.

SpillSeal keyboards protect against the spread of infection by offering affordable technology that is not duplicated in standard or spill-resistant keyboards, Unotron says. The keys are individually sealed units, permitting each key to travel fully. This touch-type response and flexible key layout are not offered by keyboards that are sealed in a single casing and are difficult to operate, according to the company.

Inside standard computer keyboards, there are upturned domes underneath each key, either set in a rubber mat or single and loose. When a key is pressed, the dome under it presses down and makes the electrical contact to produce a letter. Liquids–including cleansers–can easily pass through these keys and damage the keyboard. Standard cleaning materials thus can damage regular keyboards.

Unotron charges $39.99 for the wired version of its SpillSeal keyboards; a wireless version is available for $59.99. Bulk pricing is available for institutions, based on the number of units purchased.

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