DESKO is a hardware manufacturer from Germany that develops leading technology for the aviation industry. It offers devices for check-in, security, access control, passenger-flow control, boarding and passport or ID card authentication.

With over 20 years of experience, DESKO has introduced new technologies and leading devices to the industry. Now, it is applying its knowledge to revolutionising the traditional integrated keyboard.

"Over the years, customers have told us about their issues with the harsh environment and extreme use of their keyboards. How the keyboard wore off too easily and the incredibly high numbers of liquid damage they have," says Werner Zahn, managing director at DESKO. Statistics show that one in two keyboards get damaged due to liquid, often by agents at the counter. Broken keyboards and closed counters are the consequence. "We know that due to these damages the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a keyboard is very high and that an integrated keyboard is more fragile than most of the other devices in an airport. Even though it actually should be more robust and resistant," says Zahn.

So it was back to the drawing board. After months of planning and testing, Zahn can confidently declare: "We are very pleased to launch our brand new integrated keyboard at the Passenger Terminal Expo in March, and everyone is invited to test it at our booth. It will be very exciting to see how the visitors react and what feedback we will receive at the show."

What will be so different about the new DESKO keyboard? Zahn explains: "The biggest improvement and unique feature is water resistance. The entire keyboard, key caps, key matrix and swipe slot are water and dust-resistant according to IP54 regulations."

IP stands for ingress protection and is a rating code commonly used for security equipment. It consists of two digits, which show the level of protection a device has against dust and water. "The keyboard can withstand spray water and spills. This limits the devices broken due to water damage to a minimum and will have a massive impact on the repair costs and the TCO," says Zahn.

Robust design
Zahn says the keyboard is more robust against the harsh environment and can better handle extreme use. "As we built the new keyboard completely from scratch, we were able to use new techniques and material. It will weigh more to allow a solid stand on the desk. The swipe slot is positioned in the middle of the keyboard to suit left and right-handed people alike. We developed a unique DIY repair kit so that every technician can change the userfront in under five minutes. You can make cosmetic repairs on your own, if you want to put it like that," Zahn says.

As well as the improvements, DESKO stuck to the tried and tested basics of its existing technology. "Our new keyboard is still equipped with our swipe technology for passport and ID-card reading. Even though it is completely water and dust-resistant, it’s still a full travel keyboard. That means that the feel of the keyboard will not change and that its ergonomics create the right balance between a good user experience and a demanding workplace."
These are exciting times for DESKO, as it launches a brand new product that is set to have a significant impact in the industry.