Author Topic: Laser projected fullsize virtual keyboard from a matchboz  (Read 1416 times)

Andre Jute

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Laser projected fullsize virtual keyboard from a matchboz
« on: February 16, 2015, 09:04:24 PM »
This little box is 78x39x20mm, about the size of a fancy matchbox, and it projects a full-size virtual keyboard on any flat surface by a laser projection. Then by infrared and triangulation it determines where you hit the "keys" and communicates the text to your smartphone or tablet or laptop by Bluetooth. So, with a phone and this little box in your pocket, off you go, a modern computer genius, zero bulk, and you don't even have to risk arthritus in your thimbs from using that tiny keyboard on the phone. (In my case more likely throwing a thrombie at the frustration of autocorrection by the moron Steve Jobs hid in my various Apple devices.) USB recharging, so okay for the dynamo brigade, though the battery seems likely to be good for a month at least of the sort of use you get just sending home a few emails.

So new that, like Lazarus, it won't be dispatched until the third day. Maybe worth a try for a tourer at only 36 Euro and equivalents. I don't have one of these devices, so this is for information only.

Check out the video reviews before you splash the cash. There's one guy who thinks it works well, but there's another who thinks it isn't ready for primetime yet. Who do you believe? Is 36 Euro low enough to take a flyer? Let us know if you buy one so we can wait for your review before we commit.

http://www.banggood.com/Wireless-Bluetooth-Virtual-Laser-Projection-Keyboard-Mouse-p-956413.html

« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 12:05:30 AM by Andre Jute »

Danneaux

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Re: Laser projected virtual keyboard smaller than a folder
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 10:30:30 PM »
Used, tried, found it not ideal for my use as I used it. Requires a flat surface, which is hard to fine in a touring environment. Worked much better in the office at home, but not as well as a more conventional keyboard. There are better options for home use and while touring -- again, for the way I used it, which is on the floor of my tent or on my lap or on a picnic table. It sorta-kinda worked when rested on the stiffened back of an Ortlieb pannier, but was too unstable and kept toppling over as I lap-typed on the pannier-back.

For portable use on any smooth tabletop, I think it *could* be ideal and fullfill much more of its promise.

It is a matter of appropriate use and matching its characteristics to the environment. Takes nothing away from it, but speaks volumes to its usefulness in a particular application.

I also do my production typing with a total of four fingers and two thumbs, and am hard on keyboards, so that caveat should be kept in mind. I found this device worked better for a "real" touch-typist, though they reported some adjustment necessary due to the lack of "action" (key travel/strokes). Once adjusted to it their results were better, but again it depended on a flat, firm surface like a desktop or countertop for success.

All the best,

Dan. (...who really had high hopes)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 10:57:52 PM by Danneaux »

Andre Jute

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Re: Laser projected virtual keyboard smaller than a folder
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 12:04:33 AM »
Well, so much for that. Thanks, Dan.

In fact, the device I most often use for work is an iPad rather than a phone, and my iPad, being in constant hard use on exercise machines where I edit as I exercise, is inside a huge, heavy Griffin Survivor case, so that the Apple keyboard is no longer, and doesn't add much to the weight. Not a touring setup, of course.

Now they could make a little box, preferably thinner than 20mm, though it doesn't matter if it spreads out to iPhone size in the other dimensions, that project a keyboard into thin air, they'd overcome several problems at once, including the fact that typing on a hard table with no give isn't a longterm prospect that any constant typist will welcome.

Danneaux

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Re: Laser projected fullsize virtual keyboard from a matchboz
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 01:36:16 AM »
Andre,

Some of what you are seeking may be right around the corner:
http://www.cnet.com/news/a-keyboard-that-rises-up-from-flat-touch-screens/  
http://tactustechnology.com/
http://youtu.be/nNnGpIEa3AU

Best,

Dan.  (...who thinks this morphing stuff is some real electrickery)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 01:39:08 AM by Danneaux »

Andre Jute

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Re: Laser projected fullsize virtual keyboard from a matchboz
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2015, 02:47:26 AM »
That's fascinating from an engineering viewpoint, Dan, but it is for the thumbmeisters. For my purposes (editing a novel, sending in a substantial report from a field beside a murmuring stream here's hoping!) your rollup keyboard is actually superior to this impressive technical solution to... what? After all, Blackberries have physical buttons operated by thumbs already. I thought that in the video they made a mistake putting the woman demonstrating their bumpyboard next to a guy obviously doing real work on a laptop not all that much bigger than their device.

When I really put my mind to it, between my iPad and the very capable and lightweight fullsize Apple Wireless Keyboard, when I'm on my bicycle the problem is solved, perhaps not elegantly (which is why I'm still looking)*, but definitively. It's the other case, when I'm on foot, with my iphone in my pocket, and wanting to send a long message or doing something intricate, that we're looking for a better solution than your foldup keyboard. The device above, no matter how ingenious, is a retrograde step.

Thumb operation is precisely what we're trying to avoid. Therefore, thumbs down, from me anyway. But thank you for introcuding me to a product I didn't know about.

*I have a commercially made leather case to take a bare iPad. It came with Bluetooth keyboard with moving keys and a palmrest on it's own leather cover, and it fixes into the main case by magnets. Elegant and convenient, if only it worked. But the keyboard is, for me anyway, crippled by being scaled down to the width of the iPad, so that it isn't full-size for touch typists. There is a certain minimum level of key spacing (probably 19mm ctc) below which a keyboard isn't fullsize except in Lilliput; all those clamshell keyboards for the iPad and other tablets suffer from the same shortfall. It's ironic that in my normal-use state the iPad in it's bulky Griffin Survivor case is precisely the length of Apple's Bluetooth keyboard, which is full-size and definitely a superior keyboard but far too large to take when on foot. That is why I was so keen on the laser projection of a virtual keyboard which held out the lure of a doing useful work with the iPhone as a screen.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 02:52:25 AM by Andre Jute »