Coming soon to Carnegie Hall
For those who can't access the Times article:
It's actually not an innovation. It's been done before, a little over a hundred years ago. I saw a pic of one in a museum somewhere, just can't remember where.
It didn't quite catch on then.
I too have seen a picture of a circular keyboard. It is in one of my piano reference books I will have to hunt down. Pedal pianos go way back as well. Straight strung grands are around such as the Altenburg Grand that I think was made by Cunningham in Philadelphia