High-end accessory and detachable keyboard manufacturer Brydge appears to be working on a series of keyboards for use with certain Chromebooks, based on a recently spotted code commit in the Chromium Gerrit. The commit itself is currently active, which means that it hasn’t been merged into the OS just yet. However, it clearly shows developers working to add key mappings for both ‘Hamburger’ and Google Assistant keys for four keyboards including “BRYDGE keyboards.” Although the company’s previous offerings range across a wide variety of devices including Apple’s iPads and Microsoft Surface tablets, there are no details with regard to what features might make their way to any planned Chrome OS variants. Brydge has also not confirmed the existence of any Chromebook-specific detachable keyboards or made any announcements to indicate that one is in the works.
Setting that aside, Brydge has typically relied on Bluetooth for connectivity and a hinged dock arm to hold a given device in a laptop orientation. It doesn’t seem too big a stretch to presume that a similar design will be used here. Moreover, the commit itself mentions that the keyboards will be both “external or detachable” and will be shared between devices. In fact, that appears to be the entire reason behind the testing that’s being conducted. The commit itself mentions that mapping the keys in a central location makes more sense than forcing them to be remapped each time the keyboards are connected to a different device. That doesn’t necessarily mean Brydge’s offering will be universal with multiple Chromebooks but that they are intended to be interchangeable between whichever more than one of whatever individual Chrome OS device they are intended to work with. If the unannounced Brydge Chromebook keyboards are similar to previous offerings from the company, they’ll also likely feature backlighting and an integrated solid-state drive for extended storage.
With that said, the keyboards could also be a complete break from Brydge’s previous designs. Bearing that in mind, Brydge keyboards aren’t the only detachable accessories mentioned in the commit. At least one of the other keyboards mentioned in the commit, codenamed ‘Whiskers,’ has actually already been associated with “Nocturne.” That particular Chromebook is thought to be a detachable successor to the current Google Pixelbook. Meanwhile, the other two keyboards in the commit are noted as ‘Hammer’ and ‘Wand.’
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