Would you like a hand crafted, wooden keyboard with that iPad mini?

Recently, we profiled Jacob Wolff-Petersen of Steelseries, who built an empire on high end mice, headphones, keyboards and other peripherals for ultra demanding gamers.

Today, we bumped into these deliciously surreal keyboards by Orée (which in French means, the border of a forest, or the verge of something new, according to their site): they’re hand crafted in wood – made out of one piece of wood, even, for aesthetic reasons. And yes, they really work, at least on Bluetooth enabled devices like laptops and tablets.

Wooden keyboards are high tech too

Orée was founded by Julien Salanave, who grew tired of interchangeable, impersonal peripherals made out of  eco-unfriendly materials. In an interview, he explains: “Most products today are essentially based on two materials, plastic or aluminium both of which have a number of environmental issues and when it comes to design form factors, most of the products look pretty much alike and feel very impersonal.”

On its website, Orée explains that

“…we set out to do something different: create lasting & personal high performance technology objects primarily made of wood, the most natural, durable and renewable material on earth.

Orée is about reconciling tradition & novelty to create exceptional products through an exclusive combination of timeless woodworking techniques and cutting-edge technologies.

We combine cutting-edge milling technologies and timeless woodworking techniques passed down generations of French woodcrafters and cabinetmakers. Each Orée object is crafted, polished, oil-finished and assembled by hand in our workshop in southern France.”

The keyboards have no numpad. As far as we can see, they come with two different kinds of fonts.

In an interview on Humansinvent.com, Orée’s master wood craftsman Christophe Della Signora explains how a London crowd reacted to typing on the wooden keyboards:

“When they pressed on it and a letter appeared on the screen it provoked an amazing reaction in them. The feedback we’ve got is that it doesn’t create any distractions in terms of the typing experience compared to a standard keyboard but actually enhances it because the wood feeling is something very different to the touch than plastic or aluminium.”

Reading all that, it’s a miracle they “only” cost 125 €. Would love to hear from people using these!

Photos via Orée design

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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