LAS VEGAS - If necessity is the mother of invention, some mothers invent out of necessity. That's how Kendall Maynard and her husband Victor came to create My First Keyboard through their company, Kidtech Inc. in Niceville, Fla. When their oldest son was 18 months old, he trashed the keyboard of the family's computer.
``Kids are just naturally attracted to the computer because they see their parents working on it. He slammed the keyboard and destroyed the hard drive,'' she said in a telephone interview.
In July 1993, the Maynards began research to develop a computer keyboard for children younger than five. They incorporated in September, and now their product is on the market.
Kidtech worked with Anagraphica Inc. of Salt Lake City to design and develop a prototype. The product has an embossed polyester membrane switch surface that is easy to clean.
The case is injection molded of ABS by Sanders Manufacturing Co. Inc., a custom molder and mold maker in Destin, Fla. Victor Maynard, an aerospace engineer, worked closely with Sanders in designing the mold and producing the parts.
My First Keyboard features a one-touch, one-response technology so that keys will not repeat if the child leans on the keyboard. An audible beep sounds to tell the child that the button has been pushed.
The keyboard has 55 keys to reduce confusion. The IBM-compatible keyboard has a suggested retail price of $99.