Senseboard virtual keyboard for wearables is an all new typing experience [w/video]
With the advent of wearable computing, the need for supporting input devices is rising, and to fuel this need, researchers around the world are working overtime to create intuitive peripherals for modern times. Going along the same lines, research headed by Lars Asplund, Professor Emeritus in Robotics at Malardalen University (MDH), Sweden is onto a virtual keyboard that perfectly syncs with ultra-modern wearables. With years into the making this wearable input device called Senseboard is a virtual keyboard that works with Google Glass or Oculus Rift, as well as mobile devices and computers, for a very surreal typing experience.
Senseboard is loaded with sensors that sense the position of user’s fingertips and hand-positioning to ascertain the key(s) being touched. For example when using with wearable gadgets like Oculus Rift, you put on the two clamping bracelet like wearable devices onto the hands or wrists, and then start typing in a virtual environment, on a virtual keyboard.
Not only does this wearable device work as a keyboard, but also as a computer mouse for gesture input like swapping webpages or scrolling through text. So, basically this wearable gadget gets over the ergonomic problem of using a physical keyboard and mouse. Also, it gets over the problem of people peeking in to see what you are typing, for example passwords or banking account numbers.
The prototype of this virtual keyboard is under work since 2005 and looks to replace the traditional method of typing by creating an augmented reality environment where only you can see the keyboard and type-in what you want to type.
According to Lars Asplund
Virtual technology is the future. It allows you to be available everywhere even without a mobile phone, a tablet, or a computer. We have the ideas and the technology and now we want to develop prototypes. To do so, we need more funding, which is often the main challenge for research. This project has a great potential and can be completed in a year, but we need another SEK 10-15 million to develop the hardware design, manufacture a series, and launch the product on the market.