The XK-3 Triple Action Foot Pedal from PI Engineering is a practical method of reducing the risk of finger strain often associated with heavy computer usage. The XK-3 Pedal transfers repetitive actions such as mouse-clicks or common keyboard shortcuts (Copy [Ctrl+C], Paste [Ctrl+V], Save [Ctrl+S]) to the feet. Programming modifier-keys (such as Shift, Ctrl, or Alt) can also help to maximize productivity by allowing the user to continue typing without interruption, quickly accessing modifiers with the feet. In addition, common repetitive content or complex macro sequences can be programmed for quick and accurate entry as needed. Users such as transcriptionists can easily program the pedals to perform their most common commands, freeing them to maintain focus on their work.
The XK-3 X-Keys Triple Action Foot Pedal features a modern smooth appearance and is available in two distinct styles. While visually identical, the 'front hinged' and 'rear hinged' models are distinguished by the location of the hinge on the large centre pedal. The two outer "piano-key" pedals are always rear hinged and offer two additional discrete actions.
The XK-3 front-hinged model is well-suited for applications where activation is "momentary", such as activating mouse clicks, modifier keys, and macros. The front-hinge design allows the foot to rest on the centre pedal during periods of inactivity instead of being forced to 'hover' or remove their foot from the pedal.
For functions where continuous activation serves the task (transcription playback for example), the XK-3 rear-hinged model is more suitable. The rear-hinged design allows the foot to be in a resting position while the centre pedal is depressed.
The XK-3 Pedal is equipped with easily-activated switches guaranteed for over one million activations. Activation is audible but very quiet, barely noticeable in most office environments. Users can also connect multiple XK-3 Pedals for enhanced productivity.
The XK-3 Triple Action Foot Pedal is easily programmed within either Windows or Mac environments using downloadable software. Advanced programmers may wish to take advantage of the free Software Development Kits (SDK) for Windows, Linux, Android, or Raw HID.
Reduces the Potential for Trigger Finger - The extended "hovering" of a finger (usually the index finger) over a mouse in anticipation of the next click can lead to the development of a condition known as "Trigger Finger." The transfer of the left click action to a footswitch can significantly reduce the risk of this occuring. It also permits the entire hand to relax which can potentially lead to better cursor control. Learn more about "Trigger Finger."
Reduces Strain on Fingers - Most computer usage generally involves a high level of mouse clicking. This highly repetitive action has the potential to greatly increase finger fatigue, with the accompanying risk of developing joint pain—especially for those who use non-ergonomic mice. A footswitch addresses these concerns by transfering mouse-clicking actions from the fingers to the foot.
Reduces Awkward Reaching - Combination keystrokes or keyboard shortcuts often require awkward manipulation of the fingers. Heavy, repetitive use of these can stress the finger joints as it often requires a sideways or lateral movement of the finger in a direction the joints are not designed to move. By programming a footswitch to perfom these functions through a single press of the pedal, users can give the fingers and hand a reprieve. As an added benefit, this actually has the potential to increase productivity as the hands can be kept in position on the keyboard.
Comfortable Switch Positioning - The XK-3 Triple Action Pedal is designed in such a way that the foot can relax against the primary central pedal without maintaining static tension in the lower leg and ankle. Users are able to select the model which is best suited to the functions which they are performing, and by doing so providing the optimum position for relaxed usage.
Front and Rear-Hinged Models: The front-hinged model is best suited to "momentary" activations such as mouse-clicks. It enables the foot to relax against the pedal between activations. For users such as transcriptionists who operate in a "press to play - release to stop" environment or users who perform large numbers of "drag and drop" actions, the rear-hinged model is recommended as the foot is positioned in the most relaxed orientation while activating the switch.
Programmable in both Windows and Mac Environtment: Powerful programming software is available for both Windows and Mac environments. Software Development Kits are also available for a range of alternative OS.
Macro Programming: Macros are a great productivity tool for generating commonly used phrases, or combinations of key actions and modifiers. The XK-3 Triple Action Foot Pedal provides a pool of approximately 1000 characters which can be distributed among the three pedals.
Quiet Operation: Activation of the XK-3 Pedal is quiet enough to be unobtrusive in most environments.
Driverless Operation: Once programmed the XK-3 Pedal does not require driver software. This means that a pedal can be programmed using software installed on one system and then attached to a second system for software-free operation.
Programmable Keys or Mouse Actions: The XK-3 Triple Action Foot Pedals can be custom programmed to perform virtually any combination of mouse or keyboard actions, including even complex multi-key macros. Note: It is not possible to program a drag lock toggle with the footswitch (i.e. the footswitch must be held down in the same way you hold down your left mouse button to highlight and perform drag and drop operations)
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Macintosh OS X notes: OS X doesn’t support middle mouse button without using a third party driver such as that found at www.usboverdrive.com. Also, modifier actions from one USB device cannot modify the input of a second USB device due to limitations designed into the Apple operating system (ie Shift, Control, Command, or Option keystrokes programmed into the foot pedal cannot modify the input of a separate USB keyboard or mouse. However, a key sequence like ‘Cmd-W’ or ‘Cmd-Shift-left arrow’ will work on a Macintosh if the entire sequence of keystrokes has been programmed into the foot pedal).
Power Source: USB port, nominal voltage = 5 VDC
Power Consumption: 18 mA @ 5 VDC
Temperature Range: -20 to 60 C
Environmental Rating: IP 40, typical indoor office environment
Certifications: FCC class B, CE, RoHS, WEEE compliant
Program the Footswitch to Your Needs - Determine which functions you need to program. Consider the most repetitive functions you perform and assess their suitability for foot activation.
Position Switches For Comfort - Position the Switch (or Switches) where your foot is relaxed and you are most comfortable. You want to be able to permit your foot to rest naturally on the pedal, not be reaching for it or needing to hold your foot "up" to keep it from activating the switch.
Work From a Seated Position - Foot pedals generally work best for users who are seated. Repeatedly activating a foot pedal while standing can be uncomfortable as the foot tends to be held in a state of dorsiflexion which requires a constant tension of the lower leg muscles.
Watch for Symptoms of Overuse - With any repetitive action, there is a risk of developing Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). The feet are capable of heavy usage and do tend to have increased bloodflow which may reduce this risk. However, if a user suspects that discomfort is at all related to the usage of a footswitch it would be wise to reduce, or even temporarily suspend, this usage in order to help identify the source of the discomfort. As with any device, care should be taken to ensure that potential issues are addressed as soon as symptoms become evident, rather than ignoring the symptoms and permitting an addressable concern to be elevated to a serious problem.