Keyboard that understands hand gestures
You'd think that a keyboard which understands hand gestures would be most likely to pick up on a variety of crude insults about onanism, but at the very exciting Computer Human Interaction (CHI) conference in Toronto, someone's made a prototype keyboard which can act like a touchscreen.
The keyboard has a number of sensors that detect the movement of hands as they brush over the top of the keys. So, if you swipe your hand on them, they'll bring up menus and what have you.
Why? Surely a tablet, which has a keyboard on it, does all that, thereby negating the need for a physical keyboard that does it?
Well, the aim here is that users will be able to keep their hands on, or at least very close, to the keyboard while typing and such, according to Stuart Taylor, a Microsoft senior research engineer. Basically, what's happening is a series of time-saving shortcuts, so you can swipe instead of pressing Alt and Tab combos to switch between applications.
"What we've found is that for some of the more complicated keyboard shortcut combinations, performing gestures seems to be a lot less overhead for the user," he said. "It’s less about fine-grain navigation, which would still be performed with a mouse or touchpad," he added.
You can see it in action here. Be warned - you'll still inevitably be left with a feeling of 'what's the point?', until of course, we all end up using the technology in 5 years' time like it's the best thing ever.