The aim of this technology is to develop an “Augmented Reality” (AR)
solution for a handheld device that enables the user to write text.
A virtual keyboard is actually a key-in device, roughly a size of a fountain pen
& which uses highly advanced laser technology.
In a virtual keyboard, camera tracks the finger movements of the typist to get
the correct keystroke.
The software and hardware part recognizes the typed characters and pass it
to the computer.
The main features are: platform independent multilingual support for
keyboard text input, built-in language layout and setting, copy/paste etc.
QWERTY is the most common keyboard layout on English-language
computer and typewriter keyboards.
The processor in a keyboard has to understand several things that are
important to the utility of the keyboard, such as:
Position of the key in the key matrix.
The amount of bounce and how to filter it.
The speed at which to transmit the typematics
The microprocessor and controller circuitry of a keyboard
A look at the key matrix
Virtual Keyboard is just another example of today’s computer trend of
"smaller and faster“.
Virtual Keyboard uses sensor technology and artificial intelligence to let
users work on any surface as if it were a keyboard.
The keyboard is projected optically on a flat surface and, as the user
touches the image of a key, the optical device detects the stroke and sends
it to the computer.
Virtual keyboard used in PDA’s
A virtual keyboard is a keyboard that a user operates by typing on or within a wireless
or optical-detectable surface or area rather than by depressing physical keys.
The Virtual Keyboard uses light to project a full-sized computer keyboard onto almost
any surface, and disappears when not in use.
A virtual keyboard makes it possible for the user of a very small smart phone or a
wearable computer to have full keyboard capability.
The device detects movement when
fingers are pressed down. Those
movements are measured and the
device accurately determines the
intended keystrokes and translates
them into text .
Modules of Virtual Keyboard
The Virtual Keyboard system comprises of three modules:-
The sensor module
The pattern projector
The Sensor Module serves as the eyes of
the Keyboard Perception technology .
The Sensor Module operates by locating
the user's fingers in 3-D space and tracking
the intended keystrokes.
Keystroke information processes and can
then be output to host devices.
IR Light source :
The Infrared Light Source emits a beam of
infrared light .
This light beam is designed to overlap the
area on which the keyboard pattern projector
or printed image resides.
This helps in recognizing the hand
movements and the pressing of keys .
The Pattern Projector or optional printed image presents the image of the
This image can be projected on any flat surface.
The projected image is that of a standard QWERTY keyboard, with all the
keys and control functions as in the keyboard.
This Fig. shows the physical setup
of the system:-
The 3D range camera is placed
several cms over the input
surface, with a well-defined angle
facing the working area.
The size of the working
area, limited by the spatial
resolution of the camera, is 15 cm
25 cm, which is comparable to
a full-size laptop-computer
The display projector is mounted on the camera, facing the same area, which
would generate the visual feedback for the keyboard and input information.
Speed of text entry
Lack of need for flat or large typing surface
Ability to minimize the risk for repetitive strain injuries.
No driver software necessary, It can be used as a plug and play device.
It is very costly.
The room in which the virtual keyboard is used should not be very bright so
that the keyboard is properly visible.
Virtual keyboard is hard to get used to. Since it involves typing in thin air, it
requires a little practice. Only people who are good at typing can use a
virtual keyboard efficiently.
High-tech and industrial Sectors.
Used with Smart phones, PDAs, email, word processing and spreadsheet
As computer/PDA input.
A virtual key boards claim to provide the convenience of compactness with
the advantages of a QWERTY keyboard.
A Virtual keyboard system based on a true-3D optical range camera.
It is also used in 6th Sense Technology Device in which it is not depends on
surface. The feedback text and/or graphics may be integrated with such
projector, thus enabling truly virtual working area.
Thus virtual keyboards will make typing easier, faster, and almost a pleasure.