We are now living in a tech world. In this decade we have seen a number of fantasy stuff that we usually see in Bond movies. Some technologies seem like it just came out of the fiction world. In this article, we are going to discuss stuff seems like science-fiction device name Laser keyboard. But a question immediately arises in mind how laser keyboard work.
You are reading this article with the help of Keyboard either directly or indirectly. In our daily life, we may have come across several devices but the computer is one of the most important devices. As the internet is a part of our life we use keyboards regularly either it is a touch-screen or mechanical keyboard.
Almost every day most of us do things like compose e-mails, visit Web sites, chat with friends and a ton of your personal computers or smartphones using a keyboard. Can you imagine the world without keyboards?
In this article lets us discuss a technology called Laser keyboard and how it works and the advantages and disadvantages.
What is a virtual laser keyboard
A virtual laser keyboard means a projection device projects a keyboard on a flat surface. It projects an image of a keyboard and it can take input from the user. When a user touches the surface covered by an image of a key, the smart device records the corresponding keystroke.
Before going to know how this stuff work let’s know how a traditional keyboard works.
A traditional keyboard is a collection of keys assembled in aboard. It has a processor and circuitry similar to the insides of your computer. Each key in a keyboard is a grid of circuits. Once you press a key, the switch closes and it sends a small electrical message go through the grid. The processor suddenly recognizes it and stats analyzing where the message came from.
After the analysis, the processor sends the data to the computer. It can be done in several ways like through cable or if it is a wireless keyboard it sends the data wirelessly.
Virtual laser keyboard connects to the computer either through USB or Bluetooth. Then the task performed as per the information.
How laser keyboard works
The cinema starts with the virtual laser projection keyboard device. The device projects the image of a QWERTY keyboard onto a flat, non-reflective surface using a red diode laser.
The laser is the same as you see on those cheap laser pointers. You may have remembered the golden childhood days when you may play with the laser pointers light. I don’t know why some people make the laser so complicated.
Can you remember the laser pointer comes with a number of caps which project shapes like snake, scorpion, bird, etc.?
The virtual laser projection keyboard device consists of a Diffractive Optical Element (DOE). The DOE consists of a tiny image of the keyboard. DOE has an optical lens which expands the image. When red laser light comes through it, the actual image of the keyboard appears on the surface.
The image projection is the first part of our discussion on working methodology of laser keyboard and then comes to the next phase to see the whole process.
The device also consists of an infrared light emitter. An infrared light emitter emits a thin plane surface of infrared light just above the image of the keyboard. The distance between the image and the keyboard is only millimeters. We can’t see the infrared light in the necked eye.
When you start typing, your finger blocks the infrared light in certain areas and it comes back. There is a CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) which analyses from which the light hits and comes back.
The special sensor called Virtual interface processing core analyses the exact location and of the keystroke. The device then sends the information to the computer. Virtual laser keyboard connects to the computer either through USB or Bluetooth. Then the task Computer receives the command and does as per it.
This gadget has several advantages like follows
- It is portable and easy to carry. It can be fit in a pocket easily.
- Maybe a cool office gadget.
This gadget also has some disadvantages. There are more disadvantages than advantages like follows
- The flat non- reflective surface is not always possible to project the keyboard. Imagine when you are traveling this device doesn’t help you.
- There is no feedback when you touch a button. Although it gives a sound you can’t feel the press of a button.
- It is not 100% accurate always. You may place your hand in a different location on the surface which leads to the wrong keystroke.
- There is a limit how may input it can take at a time. So it is not helpful while the user has a fast typing speed.
Virtual laser keyboard sounds like a gadget from the future. This is a cool gadget for the office. But if you type so much in a day, I don’t recommend you to go with this keyboard. The technology behind this gadget is so impressive.
To say frankly, this is not a product for mainstream users. Or this not a must-have computer accessory. This is something high-tech and next level gadget.
You may purchase it to show off or just to try new technology. To say frankly it is not necessary. We are good with our traditional keyboard and the sweet keystroke sound. It can’t replace the traditional keyboard.