Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard

In the past decade we have witnessed the birth and development of many advanced gadgets. Come to think of it, we have been “promised” way more futuristic devices and technologies than we can see in use. Although it was not possible to come close to what we had seen in the movies, we were introduced to some pretty cool devices. Let’s take the new awe inspiring mobile gadget for example. Yes, I am talking about the new virtual keyboard for mobile devices. The Virtual Laser Keyboard (VKB), also known as the Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard, is a revolutionary mobile accessory. It is the one and only existent keyboard that functions in absolute darkness.

Although it is just about the size of a Zippo Lighter, it has the capability of generating a regular sized fully functioning keyboard, by exploiting the power of infrared and laser technology, which can be projected on any flat surface. The optical recognition based detection-technology allows users to tap on the projected image of the keyboard which is fed into compatible device connected via Bluetooth. It also comes complete with real keyboard-like tapping sounds, also known as the WOW effect.

Unlike the many available snap-on keyboards, the Bluetooth virtual keyboard provides the user with a full-fledged QWERTY keyboard while being smaller and handier than the fold-type keyboards that provide similar functionality. The Virtual Laser Keyboard (VKB) contains no moving or mechanical parts of any kind and provides the user with a projected image of the keyboard while maintaining the responsiveness of a regular keyboard, which is basically a perfect mobile input device.

This device is very light weight, weighing in about 2 ounces and size being comparable to that of a disposable cigarette lighter. The Bluetooth Virtual keyboard comes with a built-in Lithium ion battery as its own internal power supply which adds to its advantage since it does not require draining power from the mobile device. The internal power supply is rated to last upto 3 hours! This should be ample time to get some rough work done, like, updating phone book and calendar entries and even some SMS messaging and instant messaging.

Let’s take a peek view at how this actually works:
A template is generated according to the preferred interface and projected onto the interface surface adjacent to the device. This is done via the illumination process of a holographic optical element that has been specially designed with a red diode laser. The template in context is not by any means involved in the detection process, it is merely a reference plane for the user. The keystroke detection is a whole other process.

The device emits an infra-red light plane that runs parallel to the interface surface, the infra-red is not visible to the human eye and stands just a couple of millimeters over the interface surface. The light from this plane is reflected to the sensor module when a user taps a key position on the surface interface.

This reflected light is imaged onto a CMOS image sensor after being passed through an infra-red filter. An embedded custom Hardware known as the “Virtual Interface Processing Core” processes the data real-time and instantly determines the position of the reflected light. The device’s processing core is designed to track several reflection events simultaneously, making the device capable of supporting multiple keystrokes as well as overlapping cursor control inputs.

The micro-controller within the sensor unit then receives the information from the processing core in the form of flashing lights. This coded information is then decoded and transferred to the mobile device via a suitable interface module, in this case, the Bluetooth.

This Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard Review is Written/Updated on Nov 9th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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