Into Tomorrow listener Mark in Lewes, Delaware asked the following question:
I was wondering if there was any type of technology in the near future to project a keyboard on a flat surface. I like to work from a smartphone and I have some webpages that I work on, and I just really can’t do things on my smartphone because of the limited keyboard. I’d like to see something projected on a flat surface that I could virtually type. I’d like to hear your comments on that.
There probably will be projection keyboards available in the near future, considering you can buy them today… Brookstone has a model available for about $90, it’s compatible with iOS and Android, and it works as well as a reasonable person can expect a projected keyboard to work in the real world.
You’re paying for a conversation piece that sort of does what you need it to do… sort of… Now, if you really want to be able to type, get a regular bluetooth keyboard, it will be infinitely better, it will work like a keyboard should, and you will actually use it. Projection keyboards are nice and flashy, but pretty gimmicky and useless in the real world.
You really don’t realize how important the feel of a keyboard is, how far the keys travel up and down, and what sort of resistance they offer when you press them, until you try and type on a flat, unmoving surface like the glass screen of a tablet…or a table using a projected keyboard.
Working on web pages requires a lot of typing and moving the cursor about. A bluetooth keyboard, especially one with arrow keys, would be so much better than a projection keyboard that we don’t have a word for it. How about “super-typo-licious?”
You’d have to carry another piece of gear with you anyway, so the keyboard should be no big deal. The Perixx Periboard 805 series folding Bluetooth keyboards collapse into a small package, have a decent feel to them, and cost under $50.
The myType soft folding keyboard can be stuffed into a back pocket safely, costs $60, and is still much better than a keyboard projected on a table, although perhaps only just a little better, because the keys are quite mushy and they’re oddly spaced so they can interlock when you fold the keyboard in half.