Bamboo keyboards are at rage in China, since they provide a more environment-friendly alternative to the usual keyboard made of plastic.
As hi-tech brings conveniences and also pollution to the modern world, people who have a keen awareness of ecological protection are looking for green ways of living to offset the negative impact of advanced technologies.
Although bamboo keyboard is still a new thing to most computer users, it is nevertheless gaining popularity.
"We've delivered 20,000 bamboo keyboards to the wholesalers, and another 20,000 orders are awaiting delivery," said Zhang Lina, a sales manager of the Jiangqiao Bamboo and Wood Industry Co. Ltd., the sole producer of bamboo keyboard in China.
The company is in Jiangxi's Tonggu County, which enjoys abundant bamboo resources.
"We started mass producing the new product in October last year, which was mainly exported overseas," Zhang said.
"It sells well in the European and American markets, but not the domestic market for now," she said.
But, she added that the company has set up franchised stores in Shanghai and Ningbo to sell the products since the beginning of this year.
The idea of manufacturing bamboo keyboards came from a business talk the company had with an electronic company from Shenzhen in 2005, when the Shenzhen company's general manager suggested the Jiangqiao company manufacture computer boards made of bamboo, according to Feng Chun, a technician of the Jiangqiao company.
"We have been developing such a product ever since," Feng said.
"Of course, we broke through a series of technical difficulties in almost three years, such as how to prevent the bamboo keyboard frame from cracking, how to prevent the bamboo bottom plate from distorting and how to make bamboo buttons firmly linked with the main board," he said.
"You needn't worry that it might crack even if it drops from a one-meter-high table. Its user-life is no shorter than a plastic one," he added.
"The degradability of the keyboard can be enhanced with the substitution of bamboo for plastics, so it's environment-friendly," said Professor Zhu Zhenghou, from the School of Materials Science and Engineering with the Nanchang University.
"It can bring computer users a unique feeling: cool in the summer while warm in the winter. In addition, it can prevent static electricity and the bamboo veins have the function of absorbing ultraviolet radiation," he said.
"It is gaining recognition and popularity step by step as more and more people want to experience new things and lead a green life," said Zhang.