New Microsoft Research prototype promise to brings hands gestures interaction on future keyboards to improve computing productivity without the need of external sensing like Kinect or Leap Motion.
Talking about a real all-in-one input device! The keyboard prototype that Microsoft is showing off today in a new YouTube video is a thin form factor integrated with a 16 x 4 array of infrared proximity sensors places between the key-caps that can rapidly detect motion on top of the keyboard and in a narrow band hover without for any external sensing device.
This allows users to use natural gestures such as: swipe and pinch-to-zoom to quickly switch and navigate applications on Windows 8.x. Hand gestures will also work on a per application basis as Office and Bing Maps were some of the apps that can be controlled with this new technology in the demo.
The goal of the new gesture sensing keyboard is to enable fast, easy, and low gestures allowing users to smoothly transition between typing and motion-based gestures. So that hands always stay within the home position on the keyboard enhancing productivity.
Although, the new keyboard won’t be released anytime soon and it won’t fully replace the mouse, the prototype looks very promising as it doesn’t add overhead on the device form factor and users won’t need to buy or install a separate peripheral to the computer.