July 11, 2024

Nos75: The Dawn of Transformation

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Nos75: The Dawn of Transformation

July 11, 2024 | 3 min read | Words by NuPhy Studio

In September 2021, we introduced the first generation of Air75 at a time when customized keyboards were just beginning to gain popularity. From that moment, we aspired to create a low-profile keyboard that allows customization.

At the beginning of 2022, we employed the then-popular gasket mount to produce the first prototype of Nos75, initially named Krypton75, inspired by the fact that the element Krypton is heavier than Air.

When we assembled the first prototype, we were incredibly excited. However, the keyboard’s performance was not up to our expectations. Despite the gasket mount providing a soft rebound feel, the typing sound and feel were significantly inferior compared to the customized normal-profile keyboards in the market. We realized the need for further improvements.

Thus, we embarked on several enhancements. First, we experimented with different materials to optimize the inner layer for better typing sound. To reduce noise off the bottom of the switches, we designed a special silicone base for the second generation of low-profile switches. We also worked vigorously with Gateron to refine the lubrication process and created one full POM and one full POK test mold.

We continuously tested various material combinations, adjusted the molds, and evaluated the performance of different keycap materials and processes, inner layer materials, differently slotted mounting plates, and PCB designs. Despite our efforts, the results remained unsatisfactory. Ultimately, we had to pause the development of a product we had been working on for over a year.

After in-depth discussions with Gateron, we decided to jointly develop a brand-new low-profile switch – Low-profile 3.0. The objectives included:

  1. Achieving compatibility with normal-profile switch socket, leading the way for the entire low-profile market to adopt normal-profile switch socket, thereby resolving the issue of incompatibility between different manufacturers’ low-profile switches.
  2. Increasing the total travel of the low-profile switch to 3.5mm, realizing the feel of a normal-profile switch through the size of a low-profile switch.
  3. Enhancing typing sound through a new structure, creating space for customization.

Finally, in early 2024, as the development and fine-tuning of Low-profile 3.0 neared completion, we made some optimizations to Nos75’s details. The keyboard once nearly canceled, can finally be introduced to everyone. Here are some interesting product details:

  1. Omni-Mount, initially prepared for Nos75, first appeared on the Gem80 due to significant project delays.
  2. We developed a new PCB satellite switch for Nos75. Custom keyboard teams interested in low-profile switches are welcome to contact us for consultation and purchase.
  3. The design of GasFeet was inspired by a lunchbox used by a colleague in a lunchtime product discussion. During testing, we discovered that placing the keyboard on a smooth surface, such as flat glass, caused it to stick firmly. The solution was to create a small hole at the bottom for air circulation.
  4. Nos75 was originally to be launched in four colors and with three types of switches. However, due to the decline in the keyboard market and the production challenges of Nos75 along with its accessories, we decided to wait for market feedback before releasing other options, if any.

A few years ago, when we conceived NuPhy’s first mechanical keyboard, NuType F1, our goal was to diversify the mechanical keyboard market with a few innovative features. When designing Air75, we aimed to distinguish it from the entire keyboard market through strong design differentiation. In any case, we never imagined that our designs and ideas might one day influence the entire industry. We believe that Low-profile 3.0 will become a benchmark, and we will bring you more interesting and unprecedented products centered around this new switch.

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