Microsoft unveiled an Adaptive Keyboard prototype in student innovation contest at UIST (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology). Microsoft's Adaptive Keyboards can detect touch as well as change their visual appearance. The adaptive keyboard is a prototype developed by Microsoft Hardware researchers to make users more productive. On top of the keyboard, there is an LCD touch display panel/strip. Along with that keys are also touch display allowing visual appearance of keys to be modified in real time.
The display above keys can be used to provide additional information for quicker access making use of keyboard more innovative, and increasing the productivity such as shortcuts. If you want to use powerpoint, the slides can be shown on the panel. Just click on the slide you want and you are in. When you want to switch between multiple windows (Alt+Tab) the panel showing preview of different windows can make it easier and quicker to navigate. The function keys change, depending on the software, application being used in real time. The change is seen by change in the icons of keytops. If you want to change the color of your keyboard, it's possible only in the this adaptive prototype :D You can also use a background image behind the keys, to make it look more cool.
One of the cool features of Adaptive Keyboard is Language option, you can change the language of keyboard with changing keytops, say Russian, German, Hindi, Marathi (coming soon) and you have a new keyboard now :D
"We here at Microsoft are constantly looking for the future of PC interaction. While touching the screen of your slate PC is a compelling interaction experience for many scenarios we think there is an opportunity to improve the experiences for those of us working at a desk with keyboards and mice all day. We hope the results of the UIST contest will show us if this particular concept has any legs.", Håkon Strande, Microsoft
Want Microsoft Adaptive Keyboard?
Well this device is yet a prototype and is only available to student participants of UIST 2010 student innovation contest. A software infrastructure was developed to quickly enable the participants to create their own on-device experiences. The task is to create the most innovative interaction software. Host applications can be written in C++, C#, IronPython, VB.NET etc. Keyboard applications are created using Silverlight.
Students will receive $2000, $500 for first and second place in the categories of most creative, most useful, and best-implemented ideas.
Best of luck Participants! The contest has already started today, know more about the contest at [http://www.acm.org/uist/uist2010/Student_Contest.html]
This is surely on of the most innovative and useful product from Microsoft which must be implemented soon. Microsoft may provide more information about implementation and updates for other software to work with the device.
I want one. What about you?
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