Fellow artists will probably mock me for this (can’t handle quick keys, Dave?), but yeah this is something I would like when I am working in Photoshop. Just something I can sit in front of me and tap to switch tools on the fly. This would be similar to smaller keypads used for PC games.
I called it a keyboard but it is mostly made of dials, allowing you to toggle between the subset of tools as well. Each dial or button would have a light indicator to show what is in use. The two color palettes would have RGB LEDs to approximate colors in use as well. Each tool would be touch activated, no need for button presses.
This would be about 8 – 9″ long, and 1 1/2″ wide. The dials in this design scroll side-to-side, but many would probably prefer the up-down orientation (D’oh shoulda just done that).
Initially I wanted to design something where you could just swap out keypad icons to allow for other programs to use this besides Photoshop, but those subset menus warranted dials.
Bonus Idea: I’d like to see smartphones or tablets become extensions of workstations, where toolbars and color docks can reside. That way you can just tap on the small screen in front of you to switch tools or colors or whatever. It would be a convenient means of interacting with your software program, ideal for art or video editing. Essentially it would be like adding the Razer Blade screen to your standard keyboard and mouse setup.