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Vibrative Virtual Keyboard-Screenshot

UK student develops invisible keyboard for iPhone

While there are keyboard attachments for smartphones, they are less than sightly and takes your phone back to the “brick design” days. But a UK student, Florian Krautli, has designed an app that uses the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer to measure the vibrations caused by typing on an “invisible” keyboard.

Stephan Lourens
Born 20 years to early. Curses sometimes. Thinks too much. Believes plug-and-play is the best invention ever. If asked what he wants for his birthday he will... More

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The Vibrative Virtual Keyboard turns any rigid surface into a keyboard. Admittedly it will take some practice to learn how to type while not looking at a physical keyboard, and not to mention the irritating tapping on the desk when you need silence. I’m thinking of similar conditions to tennis elbow… Finger point stress?

“Touchscreen devices, such as smartphones, lack a suitable method for text input which can compete with mechanical keyboards,” Krautli told The Telegraph. “The keyboard requires no additional hardware as it taps into an iPhone’s built-in accelerometer, which is able to measure the vibrations caused by typing on any hard surface.” The app would be available for all makes of smartphones.

Krautly admits that the design is not perfect yet and only about 80% accurate currently. However a predictive spell checking algorithm would detect typing errors and make corrections. “At the moment it’s more of a proof of concept but if you made the accelerometer more sensitive you could improve the accuracy quite easily,” Krautly said.