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When in doubt, strip out the moving parts and see what you wind up with. This is the idea inventor Jason Giddings is following as he turns to Kickstarter to help fund the prototype creation for a glass keyboard and mouse, both sporting multitouch functionality. The design uses the same biometric systems that currently capture fingerprints on assorted trackpads and keyboards, and uses a technique known as Frustrated Total Internal Reflection -- which incorporates a series of LEDs on the bottom of a device -- to bounce infrared light beams around the inside of the glass. This process is interrupted when a finger touches the glass, wherein a simple embedded camera captures the event, processes where the keystroke, mouse click or gesture took place and relays the signal to the computer.
Giddings is currently seeking $50,000 to develop the prototype as well as developing a series of open source device drivers, and has about $42,000 to go as of this writing. Kick in, show some love and appreciate a peripheral device idea in which your snack food crumbs will merely bounce off the surface as opposed to lodging their way in.
Previous project update: The geek gurus at Supermechanical are working on Twine, a small, Arduino-based, battery-powered 2.5-inch square box with a WiFi module, thermometer and accelerometer that can be controlled via the Spool web app. The upside: given its accelerometer, you can configure it to send an SMS message to a friend informing them you need coffee every time you bang your fists within vibrational range of it. The project has overrun its $35,000 goal, raising over $117,000 and should be fully financed with extra money for a pizza and extra toppings.
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