A better linear switch.
Dissatisfied with the performance characteristics of Cherry MX switches, the Open Steno Project recruited us to create a better linear switch for their Next-Generation Open Stenotype machine (dubbed the "Stenosaurus") — capable of typing speeds upwards of 225 words per minute.
After blind-testing several candidates, one unique design was unanimously selected as the best. It is now in production as the Matias Quiet Linear switch.
Smoother, more stable, linear feel.
Most linear switches follow a simple coil spring design. This puts them at the mercy of Hooke's Law — the farther down you press, the more the resistance force increases, until it becomes quite heavy (in relative terms).
With the Matias Quiet Linear switch, we've added a special internal leaf spring, that offsets the detrimental effects of Hooke's Law. It adds a little extra resistance at the beginning (when Hooke's Law's impact is small) that gradually decreases as the coiled spring's resistance increases.
This gives you a smoother, more stable, linear feel than any other linear switch.
They're quiet... (much quieter than Cherry)
The common perception is that mechanical keyboards are noisy. While that's generally true, it doesn't have to be. We used the considerable experience that we gained in the development of our Quiet Click switch to make our Quiet Linear switch EVEN quieter.
If you're a court stenographer, or a late night gamer, or anyone else for whom noise is not an option, Matias Quiet Linear switches are no louder than the generic keyboards that most computers come with, and quieter than many of them.
RGB backlight support.
Our switch housing is transparent. Light shines right through it.
This makes it easy to design backlit keyboards, as well as indicator lights that appear right on the actual keys — Caps Lock and Num Lock, for example.
Best of all, this approach does not interfere with the feel of the switch, and there's no extra cost incurred. There is no separate "backlit version" of our switches. They all support backlighting — in ANY colour.
Needless to say, we were very amused to see Cherry copy this idea in their Cherry MX RGB switches — the sincerest form of flattery.
Most keyboards cannot register more than a few keys pressed at once, so they may not be able to keep up with very fast typists. The result is called ghosting — letters missing from what you actually typed, or additional letters that you didn't type.
These problems can be eliminated completely on a mechanical keyboard, simply by adding a diode to each switch. This is one of the major advantages mechanical keyboards have over cheaper technologies.
Built to last longer.
The traditional ALPS switches that inspired our design had an operating life of 10 million cycles. Matias Quiet Linear Switches last 5x longer — 50 million cycles.
Most innovations start with hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts, so we want to do everything we can to support their development efforts. If you're making your own custom keyboard, we sell our switches in quantities small enough to build even just one (200 pcs). You can purchase keycaps from Signature Plastics or harvest them from vintage ALPS keyboards purchased on eBay.
If you're a keyboard manufacturer looking to build a product based on our switches, we offer bulk pricing on quantities in multiples of a carton (4800 pcs).