In most cases, the kind of swipe-based gestures available on mobile devices are analogous for the input devices we have available on traditional personal computers. For example, a stylus or finger can easily stand in for a computer mice and on-screen cursor. It’s not quite so easy when it comes to typing, however. Sure, mobile devices are getting better at recognizing our voices, but there are some times you really just need a keypad to tap away on.
That’s where an intriguing new Kickstarter campaign comes into play. Called Masterkey 4.0, it’s a wireless projector that connects to your smartphone and is capable of both projecting a functioning virtual keyboard onto your desk and a display onto a nearby wall. And a whole lot more, too.
“The laser keyboard has a built-in sensor and laser,” creator Adi Zabkar told Digital Trends. “The sensor picks up finger movements. An algorithm then converts the coordinates to identify characters. The detection rate is over 350 characters per minute. Typing might be a bit slower, but still acceptable.”
According to Masterkey’s creators, the projector is capable of giving you a virtual screen of up to 120 inches. Masterkey claims resolution is high enough that you can use it to enjoy projected movies on it.
There are two versions of the device promised. The first is a “home edition” that’s designed for offering cinema-on-the-go or basic laptop functionality. But the more interesting version is the so-called “business edition,” which also includes a built-in kinesthetic sensor and facial- and gesture-recognition technology.
“Imagine this situation: You have a presentation in front of up to six people,” Zabkar continued. “Masterkey will track people’s faces, and the software will give you answers on who is interested in your presentation, at what point they are interested, and who isn’t interested. As a result, it’s much easier for you to focus on what works best in a presentation and be more successful.”
If Masterkey can deliver on their idea, it sounds very exciting, although it’s certainly ambitious. As ever, we offer our usual warnings about the risk inherent in crowdfunding campaigns, which can fail to deliver on their promises or schedule. If you do want to get involved, however, head over to the project’s Kickstarter page to pledge your support. Prices start at 155 euros ($177 U.S.), with shipping planned for February 2019.