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Microsoft Education Input Devices

Microsoft's Adaptive Touchscreen Keyboard 77

ramandeeps noted a Microsoft research project on an adaptive keyboard that is essentially a touchscreen that updates to make it easier to keep complex keybindings to a minimum. This is part of the 2010 Student Innovation Contest, so if you want one and happen to be a student, you can sign up to do research on the device.

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Microsoft's Adaptive Touchscreen Keyboard

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  • Re:Seen before ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:11AM (#33263890)

    Yes, this is similar except the Optimus keyboard's keys each contain a small OLED. Microsoft uses a full display under a transparent keyboard. So, while not quite unique in nature it should be much cheaper and easily manufactured than the Optimus.

    Again, this is only MS Research so chances are like most projects, consumers will not see it.

  • Re:Seen before ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by counterplex ( 765033 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:18AM (#33263972) Journal
    So kind of like the optimus tactus? http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus-tactus/ [artlebedev.com]
  • Re:Seen before ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:22AM (#33264030)

    Posted anonymously to avoid... I dunno, getting fired or something. (Actually, I doubt its a problem to say I've used these before, but better safe than sorry ...)

    I've seen these a few times, and they're really nothing like the OLED-based keyboards. They type far more nicely, they are vastly cheaper to produce, and add a bunch of other capabilities I won't risk getting into, just not knowing what is public and not ...

    But suffice it to say, its nothing like the various keyboard designs with a screen per key.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:01PM (#33264504)

    The optimus was a really cool concept but no one bought them because it was so expensive to a have a separate OLED per key! Also, the design led to some very hard keys that were not great for typing. This project allows for the same kind of customization and dynamic features that the optimus offered at what I can only guess as a fraction of the cost.

  • Re:Seen before ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:02PM (#33264514)
    It makes for a self-documenting keyboard interface, as is shown in the video where the guy hits the Windows Key (it could have been ALT, CTRL, or CTRL-SHIFT, etc..) and all the keys but those tied to commands go dark, and the ones tied to commands label themselves with what the command available actually is.

    Looks like the future to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @02:57PM (#33266676)

    Somehow I think if this were released by someone more open source friendly, everyone here would be basking in how awesome it is. But since it's put out my Microsoft, everyone shits all over it. Way to never let me down Slashdot.

    Hm. Where's your evidence for Slashdot attacking this Microsoft research idea? I do agree that if you surf at -1, you'll see plenty of rapidbly anti-Microsoft statements, and comments amounting to "this is stupid". But that's true if you look at the comments to any Slashdot story. (A story about FOSS with have plenty of "Open source sucks!" comments.)

    A better representation of what Slashdot considers credible is the highly-rated comments. As of right now (2:50 pm EST), there are 8 comments with a score of 3 or higher. They are:
    1. Re:Seen before ... (Score:3, Insightful) [slashdot.org]: A clarification, neither pro-MS or anti-MS.
    2. Re:Seen before ... (Score:5, Interesting) [slashdot.org]: Clarification of difference between this device and Optimus keyboard. Could be viewed as defending the novelty of MS research.
    3. Re:Seen before ... (Score:3, Interesting) [slashdot.org]: Suggesting that the MS keyboard is similar to one of the Optimus keyboards. Not a direct attack against MS, but could be interpreted as questioning the novelty of MS research.
    4. Re:Seen before ... (Score:3, Interesting) [slashdot.org]: Describing a possible use for the keyboard. Ends with "Looks like the future to me". Clearly excited about the idea.
    5. Enter By Tomorrow (Score:5, Informative) [slashdot.org]: Pointing out that the deadline is tomorrow. Just informative.
    6. So when you press... (Score:4, Funny) [slashdot.org]: Making fun of the constant need of reboost on Windows. Clearly poking fun at MS, but not really denigrating this particular research. (And obviously just a joke.)
    7. Re:Meh. (Score:4, Insightful) [slashdot.org]: Defending the utility and novelty of this research idea.
    8. Re:Am I supposed to look at a keyboard, or not? (Score:3, Interesting) [slashdot.org]: Defending the potential utility of this research idea.

    So, of those 8 comments, 4 are "positive" (defending the novelty, talking excitedly about possibilities, etc.), 2 are "negative" (claiming that the research is in some way bad), and 2 are neutral. Given that 50% of the highly-rated comments are positive, I don't see how you can claim that "everyone" is attacking this idea just because it comes from Microsoft. So far, the debate seems pretty balanced.

    Slashdot is far from perfect, and debates here certainly become skewed. But it is not as universally lopsided as is often claimed. The community is fully able to appreciate good ideas, regardless of where they come from.

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