Friday, June 5, 2015

Trackpad - with "lasers!"

A couple of years ago, I demoed a gadget called the Celluon Magic Cube laser keyboard – it projects an image of a keyboard on your
desk and you can use it to type into any Bluetooth enabled device.

It was definitely an attention grabber, but it wasn't particularly easy to use – you have to hover your hands over the keyboard (so it’s not good for touch typing) and there are some weird effects trying to use the shift keys. I used it for a couple of weeks, but it just didn't work very well for my purposes - maybe it would have worked better as a portable keyboard for use on a plane?

A variation on that model has been developed that projects a trackpad on your desk. "ODiN" projects the image of a track pad (using a laser...) and uses an infrared projector and cameras to track finger movement and taps. There isn’t any haptic feedback since you’re just tapping on your desk, but it looks like it would be pretty easy to use. Works with anything that accepts a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad (so, no, it doesn’t work with iOS devices.) They say it reduces the potential for carpal tunnel issues and it’s smaller and easier to transport than a trackpad or mouse.

It should be in full production in July and is available for pre-order from the Kickstarter site for about $60:

Here’s a video of it in use.

The only problem I have with it (having only seen pictures of it) is that it looks like the head of a tiny Transformer. I would have preferred a plain, black monolith…

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