What Is a Hall Effect Keyboard?

Mar 1, 2022

Have you heard of hall effect keyboard? If so, you might be wondering how they differ from other types of keyboards. All keyboards consist of switches. Each key is essentially a switch. Pressing a key will close the underlying circuit. Releasing a key will then open the underlying circuit. Hall effect keyboards consist of switches as well, but they leverage a different type of technology.

Overview of Hall Effect Keyboards

A hall effect keyboard is a type of keyboard that lives up to its namesake by leveraging a hall effect sensor. Also known simply as a hall sensor, a hall effect sensor is a device that’s designed to detect a magnetic field. All hall effect keyboards have hall sensors. The hall sensors work in conjunction with a set of magnets to control the circuits.

How Hall Effect Keyboards

Hall effect keyboards work by leveraging hall effect sensors and magnets. As previously mentioned, hall effect sensors detect a magnetic field. Beneath each key on a hall effect keyboard is a magnet. Pressing a key will move a magnet. A hall effect sensor will detect the magnetic field produced by the magnet, which it will use to control the circuit.

Hall effect sensors are essentially solid-state sensors. They can detect magnetic fields in the surrounding environment. Pressing a key will move the key’s magnet closer to the hall effect sensor. The hall effect sensor will then control the key’s circuit.

Advantages of Hall Effect Keyboards

When compared to mechanical-style keyboards, hall effect keyboards offer several advantages. For starters, they are incredibly reliable. Hall effect keyboards can last for hundreds of thousands or even millions of actuations.

Hall effect keyboards support waterproof designs. Some of them are designed specifically to withstand water. With that said, not all of them are waterproof. Rather, hall effect keyboards support waterproof designs.

Disadvantages of Hall Effect Keyboard

You can expect to pay more for a hall effect keyboard than a traditional mechanical-style keyboard. This is due to the fact that each key requires a sensor and magnet. Assuming a hall effect keyboard has 104 keys, that’s 208 parts. Each key needs a sensor and a magnet, making hall effect keyboards more expensive to manufacture than other types of keyboards.

Hall effect keyboards aren’t as common as other types of keyboards. They are still relatively new, so you may have trouble finding them for sale. Mechanical-style keyboards are far more common.

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