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INTRODUCTION:

Computers have undergone rapid miniaturization from being a 'space saver' to 'as tiny as your palm'. Disks and components grew smaller in size, but one component still remained the same for decades - it's the keyboard. Miniaturization of keyboard had proved nightmare for users. Users of PDAs and smart phones are annoyed by the tiny size of the keys. The new innovation Virtual Keyboard uses advanced technologies to project a fullsized computing key-board to any surface. This device has become the solution for mobile computer users who prefer to do touch-typing than cramping over tiny keys. Typing information into mobile devices usually feels about as natural as a linebacker riding a Big Wheel. Virtual Keyboard is a way to eliminate finger cramping. All that's needed to use the keyboard is a flat surface. Using laser technology, a bright red image of a keyboard is projected from a device such as a handheld. Detection technology based on optical recognition allows users to tap the images of the keys so the virtual keyboard behaves like a real one. It's designed to support any typing speed. The Virtual Laser Keyboard (VKB) leverages the power of laser and infrared technology and projects a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface. As you type on the laser projection, detection technology based on optical recognition enables the user to tap the images of the keys, complete with realistic tapping sounds, which feed into the compatible Bluetooth enabled PDA, Smart phone, laptop or PC. Unlike many small snap-on keyboards for PDAs.

HISTORY OF VIRTUAL LASER KEYBOARD:

We are witnesses of new technology improvements that are surprising us every day when we hear about them or even look at them. The computers and computers technology revolutionize the world and the way of life. Since the beginning in the 50s, every new achievement in this section was accepted by the vast masses of people which were expecting new improvements with huge hope for making business and life easier and more successful. In this century, the computers rule the world. Beginning from the first computer ENIAC, which proportions were huge, the technology came up with microchips, tiny devices which are hundred times smaller then the basic of the structure of ENIAC, the electronic tube. The technology of creating microchips, allows us to create smaller devices like CPUs, Integrated Circuits, Microcontrollers, and so on From other side, the classic science in the same time was making very important researches and discoveries, especially physics. The physicist discovered laser rays and sensors of the same rays, which are getting more sophisticated and more powerful. If we put these two parts of science in one, we will have more than hundred products which are making our life easier, more successful and more secured. Products like this are IR, Bluetooth transmitters and receivers, optical mouse, LCD Projectors, Large Video Beams and the latest gadget of the technology called Virtual Laser Keyboard. This non-physical keyboard is

implementing optics from physics and microcontrollers form electronics and programming. The main difference is that the Virtual Laser Keyboard physically is not present. An optical virtual keyboard has been invented by IBM engineers in 1992.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL LASER KEYBOARD :


A virtual keyboard is actually a key-in device, roughly a size of a fountain pen, which uses highly advanced laser technology, to project a full sized keyboard on to a flat surface. Since the invention of computers they had undergone rapid miniaturization. Disks and components grew smaller in size, but only component remained same for decades -its keyboard. Since miniaturization of a traditional keyboard is very difficult we go for virtual keyboard. Here, a camera tracks the finger movements of the typist to get the correct keystroke. A virtual keyboard is a keyboard that a user operates by typing on or within a wireless or optical -dectable surface or area rather than by depressing physical keys. Unlike many small snap-on keyboards for PDAs, the Virtual Laser Keyboard provides a full-size QWERTY keyboard. It is also smaller and more convenient to use than the folding-type keyboards made by some manufacturers and similar to them in functionality. There are no mechanical moving parts whatsoever in the Virtual Laser Keyboard. It provides a projected image that is the perfect portable input device for PDAs. It's similar in responsiveness to regular keyboards.

The Virtual Laser Keyboard includes a self-contained, rechargeable lithium ion battery. It provides the Virtual Laser Keyboard with its own internal power supply, so it doesn't drain any battery power from the PDA or PC. The battery lasts two to three hours, more than enough time to do some instant messaging and SMS messaging from the handheld device or to update calendar and phone book entries.

The Virtual Laser Keyboard (VKB) leverages the power of laser and infrared technology and projects a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface. As you type on the laser projection, detection technology based on optical recognition enables the user to tap the images of the keys, complete with realistic tapping sounds, which feed into the compatible Bluetoothenabled DA, Sartphone. Unlike many small snap-on keyboards for PDAs, the Virtual Laser Keyboard provides a full-size QWERTY keyboard. It is also smaller and more convenient to use than the folding-type keyboards made by some manufacturers and similar to them in functionality. There are no mechanical moving parts whatsoever in the Virtual Laser Keyboard. It

provides a projected image that is the perfect portable input device for PDAs. It's similar in responsiveness to regular keyboards.

The light weight device weighs two ounces and is similar in size to a disposable cigarette lighter. The Virtual Laser Keyboard includes a selfcontained, rechargeable lithium ion battery. It provides the Virtual Laser Keyboard with its own internal power supply, so it doesn't drain any battery power from the PDA or PC. The battery lasts two to three hours, more than enough time to do some instant messaging and SMS messaging from the handheld device or to update calendar and phone book entries.

WHY TO USE VIRTUAL LASER KEYBOARD:


Its wireless and it is communicating with the device with which its connected via Bluetooth. This keyboard is compatible with all kinds of desktop or packet pcs and PDA Devices.

Compare the following two pictures. As you can see on the picture, the Classical Keyboard is small but we cant were it with us everywhere. It still has some proportions which a far larger then our pocket. But, the Virtual Laser Keyboard (VKB), is a tiny device, what we can were with us any time, any where. Just a clean surface is all we need to operate with VKB. It is also smaller and more convenient to use than the folding-type keyboards made by some manufacturers and similar to them in functionality. There are no mechanical moving parts whatsoever in the Virtual Laser Keyboard. It provides a projected image that is the perfect portable input device for PDAs. It's similar in responsiveness to regular keyboards.

WORKING KEYBOARD :

OF

VIRTUAL

LASER

A laser or beamer projects visible virtual keyboard onto level surface. Sensor camera in the projector picks up

finger movements detected co-ordinates determine actions or characters to be generated. Some devices use a second (invisible infrared) beam. An invisible infrared beam is projected above the virtual keyboard. Finger makes keystroke on virtual keyboard. This breaks infrared beam and infrared light is reflected back to projector. Reflected infrared beam passes through infrared filter to camera. Camera photographs angle of incoming infrared light. Sensor chip determines where infrared beam was broken detected co-ordinates determine actions or characters to be generated. It optically detects and analyses human hand and finger motions and interprets them as operations on a physically non-existent input device like a surface having painted or projected keys. In that way it allows to emulate unlimited types of manually operated input devices (mouse, keyboard, etc.). All mechanical input units can be replaced by such virtual devices, optimized for the current application and for the user's physiology maintainig speed, simplicity and unambiguity of manual data input.

(Diagram of working of VKB)

These are virtual keyboards that can be projected and touched on any surface. The keyboard watches your fingers move and translates that action into keystrokes in the device. Most systems can also function as a virtual moue)

Steps of working of VKB:


Step 1: Template creation (Projection Module): A template of the desired interface is projected onto the adjacent interface surface. The template is produced by illuminating a specially designed, highly efficient holographic optical element with a red diode laser. Note: the template serves only as a reference for the user and is not involved in the detection process. In a fixed environment, the template can just as easily be printed onto the interface surface.

Step

2:

Reference

plane

illumination

(Micro-

illumination Module TM) An infra-red plane of light is generated just above, and parallel to, the interface surface. This light is

invisible to the user and hovers a few millimeters above the surface. When the user touches a key position on the interface surface light is reflected from this plane in the vicinity of the key and directed towards the sensor module.

Step 3: Map reflection coordinates (Sensor Module): Reflected light from user interactions with the interface surface is passed through an infra-red filter and imaged on to a CMOS image sensor in the sensor module. Custom hardware embedded in the sensor chip (the Virtual Interface Processing CoreTM) then makes a real-time determination of the location of the reflected light. The processing core can track multiple reflection events simultaneously and can thus support both multiple keystrokes and overlapping cursor control inputs.

Step 4: Interpretation and communication (Sensor Module): The micro-controller in the sensor module receives the positional information corresponding to the light flashes from the sensor processing core, interprets the events (e.g. keydown, keyup, mouse or touchpad control etc..) and communicates them through an appropriate interface to external devices.

SPECIFICATIONS:
KEYBOARD PROJECTION: Light source Red diode laser Keyboard layout 63 key Keyboard size 295 x 95mm Keyboard position 60mm from VKB unit Required Projection Non-reflective, opaque surface surface

flat

KEYBOARD SENSOR : Detection Detection algorithm Effective keystroke Rate Up to 400 characters per minute Multiple keystroke support Approximately 2mm

Operating surface Visibility

Non-reflective, opaque flat surface Any firm flat surface with no protrusions greater than 1mm

BLUETOOTH : Bluetooth Spec Range of Frequency Transmission range ELECTRICAL : Power Source Battery Capacity Charge Method

Bluetooth v1.1 class 2 2.4 GHz Spectrum 9m

3.6V rechargeable lithium-ion battery >120 minutes continuous typing Included 100-240V AC Wall Adapter

DIMENSIONS : Approximately 35 x 92 x 25mm (1.38" x 3.6" x 1")

APPLICATIONS:
In addition to small devices projection keyboards could be used to create a control-panel projection that offers virtual knobs and switches for use in hazardous environments, as well as in medical markets where disinfected data entry is a concern. The Laser Keyboard Projector works by using both infrared and laser technology to produce an invisible circuit and project a full-size QWERTY keyboard of light on to any flat non reflective surface. The virtual keyboard works extremely well in normal daylight conditions, and looks awesome in the dark! The sensitivity of the keys can be adjusted, along with the intensity of the keyboard. Behaving exactly like a real keyboard, direction technology based on optical recognition enables the user to tap the images of the keys, complete with realistic tapping sounds, which feeds into compatible PDAs, Smart phones,

laptops or PCs via bluetooth. A Bluetooth dongle or Bluetooth device is required The Virtual Keyboard for PC is a great choice for the family computer that is exposed to food, drink and other keyboard damaging elements, and because the keyboard can be projected on to any flat non-reflective surface, it means it cant be broken, never needs cleaning, sets up with no wiring (optional), is keyless, button-less, switch-less, and doesnt collect dirt. Plugged into a desktop PC as a replacement keyboard, it takes up virtually no desk space, and has the added advantage of being able to disappear when not in use.

FEATURES:

Personal Digital Assistants (PDA's)

Cellular Telephones

Laptops Tablet PCs Space saving Computers Clean Rooms Industrial Environments Test Equipment Sterile and Medical Environments Transport (Air, Rail, Automotive)

Allows the convenience of regular keyboard typing in a tiny form factor

Rechargeable battery lasts for 120 minutes of continuous typing Tiny size only 3.5 inches high

Compatible with Palm OS 5, Pocket PC 2003, Windows Smart phone, Symbian OS, and Windows 2000/XP. Limited Mac OSX Support.

CONCLUSION:

The hottest new technological wave of the future is Virtual Laser Keyboard. This groundbreaking technology is growing so fast. The Bluetooth VKB Accessory has experienced tremendous success around the globe and has provided mobile computing device users with a viable and truly usable solution for data input. With its excellent utility and classic design, the VKB has won numerous other awards from the consumer electronics and design press and been featured in a range of Films and some Television series.

REFERENCES:
[1] www.wikipedia.org [2] www.howstuffworks.com [3] www.virtualkeyboard.com [4] www.engineeringseminar.org [5] www.itech.com/vkey/specification [6] www.microsoft.com/vkb