The Celluon Magic Cube turns any table or surface into a virtual keyboard or multi-touch mouse with its amazing laser projection and motion detection technology. The Magic Cube is smaller than a pack of cards – easy to use, and a great travel companion projection keyboard for mobile, tablet, and laptop devices. Do read the reviews on Amazon, it isn’t so much magic as a bit of cool engineering that might be a bit ahed of ready for prime time. Still if you like to try cutting edge gadgets and are willing to accept the drawbacks they sometimes have, this might be worth looking into.
Projects a virtual laser keyboard onto any table and detects keystrokes. The experience of typing on a projected keyboard is different than a standard keyboard. Projects a condensed QWERTY layout. The Magic Cube detects movement just above the surface of each projected key. Practice using included tips is recommended. Devices with automatic keystroke correction, like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod improve accuracy significantly.
Acts as a standard keyboard via Bluetooth (wireless) or USB (wired)–no drivers needed
Great companion wireless keyboard for tablets and touch phones. Small. Light. Charges via USB
Compatible with Win XP SP2+, Mac 10.4+, iOS 4.3.5+ (iPhone/iPod/iPad), etc
Mouse mode projects a standard two-finger multi-touch pad (Windows 7 only. Not iOS capable)
Pattie Maes presentation at TED shows a very cool prototype for wearable, useful computing spearheaded by Pranav Mistry (who received a standing ovation at TED). It’s a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment.
The prototype of the system cost only $350. The software, created by them, obviously is the key, but how amazing is that, $350 for the hardware used in the prototype! There is a useful web site on the Sixth Sense project.
The SixthSense prototype is comprised of a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera. The hardware components are coupled in a pendant like mobile wearable device. Both the projector and the camera are connected to the mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks user’s hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques.
The software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera and tracks the locations of the colored markers (visual tracking fiducials) at the tip of the user’s fingers using simple computer-vision techniques. The movements and arrangements of these fiducials are interpreted into gestures that act as interaction instructions for the projected application interfaces. The maximum number of tracked fingers is only constrained by the number of unique fiducials, thus SixthSense also supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction.