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Microsoft's motion-sensing keyboard lets you skip the touchscreen

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 29, 2014
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As convenient as touchscreens and air gesture controls can be on a PC, it's not very comfortable to keep raising your hands just to handle basic tasks. You might not have to subject your arms to that kind of strain if Microsoft's experimental Type-Hover-Swipe keyboard ever reaches shelves, though. The peripheral hides a grid of infrared motion sensors between the keys, letting you perform hand gestures in a more natural position. While the technology is very low-resolution (there's just 64 pixels of data), it's both fast and precise enough to recognize more advanced commands. Among other tricks, you can mimic a steering wheel with your hands when playing a racing game.

There's no mention of production plans for the keyboard, and Microsoft notes that it's not perfectly accurate in its current form. However, it's a practical concept that could give your hands a much-needed break. Microsoft adds that the raw sensors could even be used for direct touch input, since it's possible to deduce your exact finger position -- in some situations, you might not need a touchscreen at all.

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