It looks like the rumors of Valve entering the hardware business are true, as a new job listing at the studio openly discusses computer hardware.
The Industrial Designer position at Valve is looking for someone with at least six years experience in "shipping world-class, high-tech hardware products." The person must be capable with 2D and 3D design software, as well as possessing a knowledge of design principles. If that doesn't say Valve is entering the hardware business, then nothing will.
Part of the Industrial Designer position states:
Valve is traditionally a software company. Open platforms like the PC and Mac are important to us, as they enable us and our partners to have a robust and direct relationship with customers. We’re frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we’re jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There’s a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.
Those are some pretty bold words from Valve, but then again the studio and its boss, Gabe Newell, have never been one to keep quiet. Exactly what the company is planning is anyone's guess, but the keyboard and mouse mention could mean a new input device is on the horizon. We have already seen Valve experiment with the Razer Hydra motion tracking controller, so perhaps there will be an expansion on that or something else entirely. We just have to wait and see what happens.