Friday, December 01, 2006

Keyboards without Keys... just 'boards'?

I love science-fictiony stuff.

One advance that I am particularly fond of is keyboards that aren't.

Modern 'qwerty' keyboards are highly reminiscent of the original alphanumeric keyboard - the typewriter. That is because the technology is directly descended from those machines which slapped lumps of metal into ribbons soaked with ink onto a piece of paper.

It is entirely possible that the keyboard I'm typing this on right now, with it's quaint 'clickey-clackey' noises and bouncy keys will soon be obsolete. I've seen several new technologies that could easily replace this in the next few years.

One involves using lasers to project a keyboard onto any flat surface. Then the unit (which is wireless, using Bluetooth) senses the motion of the user's fingers and translates this into one or several key presses. For nostalgic and feedback purposes, it also makes 'clickey-clackey' noises when a 'keypress' is sensed. This technology is now available for the low low price of 179.99 (US)

Another involves using acoustic sensors to triangulate where a surface is striked, or rubbed. It can tell the exact position any object contacts the other by the vibrations measured from several different points. Therefore a keyboard template could be laid on top of the surface, (or painted on, for that matter) and can take any possible configuration. This one is currently in development.

But it doesn't go 'Clickey-Clack', and I would miss that.


"Where the hell is the 'Any' key?"

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