May 5, 2011

Hardware: Laser Virtual Keyboard

Laser Virtual Keyboard
            An amazing glimpse of this promised future has just arrived in the form of the Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard. Virtual Laser Keyboard is a revolutionary accessory (The only keyboard that operates in total darkness) for i-phone, i-pad, Blackberry, Smart phone, PDA, MAC & Tablet PC and any device that operates Bluetooth HID. 
The laser keyboard acts exactly like any other "ordinary" keyboard. A direction technology based on an optical recognition mechanism enables the user to tap on the projected key images, while producing real tapping sounds.
            This tiny device projects a laser keyboard on any flat surface. You can then type away accompanied by simulated key click sounds. We can use it to compose an e-mail on any Bluetooth enabled PDA or Cell Phone. With 63 keys and full size QWERTY layout the Laser Virtual Keyboard can approach typing speeds of a standard keyboard.
Most devices either stand up straight on a rectangular base or prop up with the help of a stand that flips out from the back. Once powered up, the keyboard can connect to a smart phone, PDA or laptop via USB cable or, more commonly, Bluetooth wireless technology. These two connection options allow the virtual laser keyboard to send keystroke information to a word processing document, e-mail or any other program in question.

            Although they're small and convenient to carry around, you can't simply pull out the virtual laser keyboard and start typing away in any location. If you were sitting on the bus, for instance, and wanted to write a quick e-mail on your Phone, you couldn't shine the device's red laser onto your lap and expect it to work properly. Virtual laser keyboards require flat, opaque and non-reflective surfaces for working projection and typing. Once you have the keyboard set up on the right type of surface, the device displays a full-size QWERTY keyboard, which typically contains 60 or more keys.

            A traditional keyboard, one that hooks up to a desktop computer or is part of a laptop, is very much like another smaller computer. If you take it apart, it has a processor and circuitry similar to the insides of your computer. Underneath each key is a grid of circuits, and once you press a key, the switch closes. This sends a small electrical current through the grid, which the processor recognizes and analyzes. The processor, in turn, sends the information regarding your keystrokes to your computer, and it can do this several ways. Most desktop users connect their keyboard using cables, although common wireless technologies like Bluetooth let you type from a distance, as long as the computer has the necessary receiver. 

When you type on a virtual laser keyboard, there aren't any switches involved. In fact, there aren't any mechanical moving parts at all. The device projects the image of a QWERTY keyboard onto a flat, non-reflective surface using a red diode laser. The laser, similar to the kind you see on those cheap laser pointers people wave at rock concerts, shines through a Diffractive Optical Element (DOE), which is simply a tiny image of the keyboard. The DOE, along with special optical lenses, expands the image to a usable size and projects it onto a surface.

            However a simple image of a keyboard won't get you anywhere something needs to analyze the information you type in. Situated near the bottom of the device is an infrared laser diode, which shoots out a thin plane of infrared light. When you start typing, you pass your fingers through certain areas of the infrared light. A CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor) images your finger's position within the area of the keyboard, and a special sensor chip called a Virtual Interface Processing Core analyzes the location of the intended keystroke. The device then sends this information to the computer receiving the commands.


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