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Microsoft Research is building a gesture-sensing physical keyboard

Microsoft Research has posted a report, as well as the video above, about their prototype for a new, gesture-reading, mechanical keyboard. The prototype, built using the keys of an Apple wireless keyboard (oh, irony, sweet sweet irony), uses a low-resolution matrix of infrared sensors placed between the keys to detect gestures, such as swiping and pinch-to-zoom, on the keyboard.

This achieves an effect similar to the new Touch Cover 2 for the Surface 2 tablets, though the prototype goes a step further, reading gestures taking place above the keyboard instead of sensing you brushing your fingers over its surface.

Source: Microsoft Research



There are 71 comments. Sign in to comment

thaman04 says:

Not really related to Windows/Phone, but totally awesome!  If the final product is designed well (which they usually are), then this will be really cool.  I especially liekd when he did the steering wheel motion.

ToonU says:

Microsoft research is the best

ToonU says:

What does "+phone model" mean?

It's just a way up "thumbs-upping" the comment

ToonU says:

Ah, thanks.

eXus#WP says:

A dumb way, if I may. At least the +1 was meaningful.

That's Google plus reference so yes "+ phone model" is better I guess.

Mystictrust says:

+1 was a thing before Google Plus added it. I have never thought of it as a G+ thing. Ever. Until now... Damnit!

Agree but it's used in g plus as of now

It's actually spam perpetuated by nearly everybody on this site.

nizzon says:

They should add +/- to the comments section.

sd173 says:

They actually are. I saw Daniel Rubino or James Falconer say this either on the forums somewhere in a WPCentral site feedback thread or in a comment on an article from long ago.

Jas00555 says:

I mean, obviously it had to use an Apple keyboard. They have to get rid of the garbage somehow and they obviously didn't want to just throw it away. (;

young shyne says:

its not an apple keyboard , look at the W 

Aanze says:

I don't think Apple invented the white color on a keyboard even though they might have tried to patent it...

Fiann says:

That... Is actually kind of cool. I just mimed the action of typing and gesturing right above it and it felt pretty good.

stui83 says:

Not in public i hope? ...

young shyne says:

why do you care. if someone wants to gesture a masterbating gesture, let them do it 

tbonenga says:

I just wish they'd put numbers across the top of my phones keyboard.

lansky1213 says:

Exactly! And better predictions

reda igbaria says:

The prediction is perfect!

I wish they'd make they wp virtual keyboard non-reliant on devs coding for it eg. Web forms that ask for email & would be nice to see a quicker route to get to underscore

What next a smartphone with a keyboard! (wait a minute)

blessthejon says:

Bring those back pls.

Maybe they could buyout rim for a yahoo discount

QilleRz says:

See Microsoft Research team is always moving. How about Facebook team for Windows Phone. Meh, I doubt they are moving too.

trmnrs says:

Yes Microsoft!

SwimSwim says:

That'd be awesome!!!! The gesture benefit of a Touch Cover combined with the typing accuracy of a Type Cover. Shut up and take my money!!!!

James Allatt says:

I was thinking the same thing. I have a feeling they will look to add this to their surface lineup in the next few years.

lippidp says:

Skip all this gesture BS and go straight to mind control, I say. Until then the mouse and keyboard will suit me fine.

RayWP7 says:

I've always enjoyed reading about the nifty things going on at MSR.

They better patent this before it becomes the next big thing.......

Reebs Reebs says:

I'm sure it's patented already.

Aashish13 says:

Yeah I'm with u patent for this is needed then its time we will sue google and Samsung

Tense says:

Why? What have they infringed on of Microsoft's? All of the fanboys here really need to learn how the fucking business world works.

Reebs Reebs says:

hmmm... You are "Tense" indeed! :) But no, I agree with you, but it seems that there's a race to collect patents and sue.  Google and Samsung were in the news lately a lot.

sd173 says:

I wonder if Apple would start a lawsuit war with Microsoft for using their keys in the keyboard? :)

young shyne says:

wrong keyboard buddy, if you keep spreading this bull i will kick the shit out of you 

sd173 says:

It says it in the article that Apple keyboard keys are used. And please, waste your time by trying to find me as I spread this "rumor" of Apple keys being used in this project all over the internet.

young shyne says:

Go ahead and spread the rumor.

An iMore writer talking about this, and saying it is ironic. ;)

LaNiQuE says:

Gotta love technology this is awesome I need this now it's perfect for Windows 8

Aashish13 says:

Smart keyboard. Will it come for all PC's later if anyone buys?

S Vaibhav says:

Would love to see it on a PC

cannon#WP says:

This is nice, but can we also get WordFlow on the surface's on screen keyboard? I keep trying to swipe my words and get disappointed everytime!

Sin Ogaris says:

Seems pointless to me, touchpad can pinch to zoom and if you want fast typing then learn to touch type and stop being so lazy.

Reebs Reebs says:

Only if you look at it from the perspective of what was demoed. But if you look at how this can be applied, it's awesome.  Gaming comes to mind first, or a whole new type of input device compared to the traditional keyboard, and the options are limitless.

I don't think this will be commercialized anytime soon.

coldfilter says:

Real men use secretaries

Rishicash says:

Real secretaries use men.

Would love to see a resurgence of infrared/projection keyboards

msftguy says:

seriously you have to use apple keyboard ?

cruisezero says:

This means Word Flow on physical keyboard?? Sounds like a possibility. Awesome!!!

microsoft research using a mac keyboard... weird

slbailey1 says:

This will be great for Windows 8 PC/Laptops without a touch screen.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Someday there will be hover keyboard

sd173 says:

Next from MSR I want to see touchscreen/computing paper like from the end of The Avengers movie.

Kane Gao says:

Very cool but not practical. Too many camera units between keys. You know how dirt and crap tend to build up in those slits & slots, right?

so moving my whole hand around is easier than just touching the keyboard? Just get a damn touch screen, it's as silly as that samsung waving your hand around above your phone crap. Just as easy to twich my thumb to change a picture as to try to jedi mind trick my phone.