A projection keyboard is a virtual keyboard that can be projected and touched on any surface. The keyboard watches finger movements and translates them into keystrokes in the device. Most systems can also function as a virtual mouse or even as a virtual piano. A proposed system called the P-ISM will combine the technology with a smallvideo projector to create a portable computer the size of a fountain pen.a
How a projection keyboard generally works:
1. A laser or beamer projects visible virtual keyboard onto level surface
2. A sensor or camera in the projector picks up finger movements
3. detected co-ordinates determine actions or characters to be generated
Some devices use a second (invisible infrared) beam:
1. An invisible infrared beam is projected above the virtual keyboard
2. Finger makes keystroke on virtual keyboard. This breaks infrared beam and infrared light is reflected back to projector
3. Reflected infrared beam passes through infrared filter to camera
4. Camera photographs angle of incoming infrared light
5. Sensor chip determines where infrared beam was broken
6. detected coordinates determine actions or characters to be generated
An optical virtual keyboard was invented and patented by IBM engineers in 1992. It optically detects and analyses human hand and finger motions and interprets them as operations on a physically non-existent input device like a surface having painted or projected keys. In that way it allows to emulate unlimited types of manually operated input devices (mouse, keyboard, etc.). All mechanical input units can be replaced by such virtual devices, optimized for the current application and for the user's physiology maintaining speed, simplicity and unambiguity of manual data input.
In 2002, the start-up company Canesta developed a projection keyboard using their proprietary "electronic perception technology". The company subsequently licensed the technology to Celluon of Korea.
How laser keyboards work
The laser keyboards use laser and infra-red technology to create the virtual keyboard and to project the hologram of a keyboard on a flat surface.
The projection is realized in four main steps and via three modules: projection module, sensor module and illumination module. The main devices and technologies used to project the hologram are a diffractive optical element, red laser diode, CMOS camera and sensor chip and an infrared (IR) laser diode.
15) Does iPhone 5 Really Have A Laser Keyboard?
According to reports, people are being fooled by a recent video which showed a fantasy laser keyboard for iPhone. The video which is called iPhone 5 concept features has been posted on YouTube since a few days now and has received nearly 5 million views till date.
Prashanth Shantharam, who works in Aatma studio while commenting on the video said that he is monitoring the video personally. He added that the comments of people are very confusing. Some say it is bogus while others believe that the mobile phone giant, Apple is capable to introduce such a feature in its ground breaking phone. He said that numerous people are debating on the video as some of them believe that it is possible for Apple to launch this phone.
Furthermore, the video basically shows a very thin futuristic handset. Additionally, along with the handset, a laser keyboard is also seen. However, one may doubt if such technology is available in real life.
Shantharam added that it is sure that iPhone 5 which will be launched in October will not have all these features. However, he added that people would like to see this technology in every phone not just the iPhone.
Shantharam while further commenting on the video said that these features might look futuristic and fake but these are really realistic. He said that technology is evolving so quickly these days that nothing is impossible.
He commented that I am not sure about the exact time as to when these things will be made possible but they sure will be.
While commenting on the laser keyboard, he said that this kind of keyboard has been seen before too. He quoted the example of IBM who used a laser keyboard in early 90’s for one of their devices. Meanwhile, this device hasn’t been used in mass market.
However, it is not possible to use such a device for commercial use. He added that the companies must think of innovative ways to incorporate this feature in their smartphones.
The Aatman studio is located in San Francisco. It specializes in 3D animation and visual effects.