Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fabric keyboards etc

Engadget has a post about a new fabric keyboard

Engadget has a story about fabric keyboards that could be used to make input into the new Origami devices that bit less fiddly. A picture of one is above, and it certainly looks very hip. I wonder how easy it would be to type on it, at least at any speed. The emerging of fabric keyboards is yet another attempt to solve the problem with small devices; how to input into them, and how to get data off them. It can be ridiculously difficult to interact with the interface of small devices to an efficient extent. Just think of your terror if you were told you had to type a 2000-word report on a Blackberry or a PDA. Many attempts have been made to solve the problem, with solutions such as keyboards which project onto a desk.

More interesting is how to get data off the devices, in other words, the screen. There are two interesting things happening in this area. Firstly, manufacturers are starting to look at sticking mobile projectors into phones. At the moment they're not very mobile, often having to be external to the phone and being brick-like in proportions, but the feeling is there that they could be a solution to the problem, allowing people to do things such as show off their photos taken with their phone realistically. The second interesting development is the idea is of flexible screens. These are possibly a more practical idea - you don't always have to find a wall to project onto. I can imagine quite happily getting out my flexible screen to read my morning headlines delivered to me by the (non-existent as yet) Underground Wi-Fi network as RSS feeds, and then rolling up the screen again to put it into my pocket.

No comments: