Typing the Light Fantastic

It isn't a keyboard at all, but a small projector that transmits a full QWERTY display.

Photograph by John B. Carnett

Photograph by John B. Carnett

We love new tech, but it takes a lot to make two PopSci staffers say "Cool!" in unison. That's what happened when Amichai Turm, chief technology officer at Israel-based VKB Ltd., fired up his company's prototype keyboard. The wee 1.4- by 1.4- by 2.6-inch device isn't a keyboard at all, but a small projector that transmits a full QWERTY display onto the surface in front of you. Touch a letter or number, and you hear a comforting clicking sound as your PDA or cellphone registers the input. In our informal tests, the device made surprisingly few errors. VKB won't reveal how the keyboard works, other than to say it uses infrared detectors. It will be available by the end of the year. Devices that have the technology integrated are likely two years away. Price not set.