On Thursday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, published a new patent application, submitted by Google on June 26, 2012, titled – Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device.
From the abstract:[quote] The present application discloses systems and methods for a virtual input device. In one example, the virtual input device includes a projector and a camera. The projector projects a pattern onto a surface. The camera captures images that can be interpreted by a processor to determine actions. The projector may be mounted on an arm of a pair of eyeglasses and the camera may be mounted on an opposite arm of the eyeglasses. A pattern for a virtual input device can be projected onto a “display hand” of a user, and the camera may be able to detect when the user uses an opposite hand to select items of the virtual input device. In another example, the camera may detect when the display hand is moving and interpret display hand movements as inputs to the virtual input device, and/or realign the projection onto the moving display hand.[/quote]
As you can see from the above abstract, Google is about to let the users of devices such as Google Glass to type on their hands by projecting a vertical keyboard on it.
According the patent background description, Google stated that:
- A projection keyboard is a virtual keyboard that can be projected onto a surface and components of the keyboard detect finger movements and translate the movements into keystrokes on a device. A projection keyboard unit generally includes a laser to project a visible virtual keyboard onto a surface (e.g., a red diode laser as a light source to project a full size QWERTY layout keyboard, with a size of 295 mm.times.95 mm projected at a distance of 60 mm from the projection keyboard unit), and a sensor or camera to sense finger movements.
- A projection keyboard may also use a second (invisible infrared) beam projected above the virtual keyboard. In this example, as a finger makes a keystroke on the virtual keyboard, the finger breaks the infrared beam and infrared light is reflected back to a camera.
- A projection keyboard may include use of a micro-controller to receive positional information corresponding to reflected light or light flashes from the sensor, and to interpret events to be communicated through an appropriate interface to external devices.