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Timothy Lord Checks Out Keyboards & Tech At CES

Roblimo posted more than 2 years ago | from the trade-shows-a-few-people-still-care-about dept.

Hardware 59

Slashdot's Timothy Lord is at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. There is no way any one person can take in the whole show. It's just too big for that. But on Timothy's first day, he spotted an overlay keyboard for the iPad that's been mentioned on Slashdot before, an invisible keyboard for your smartphone or tablet, and a crazy-interesting all-in-one computing device with a built-in projector and built-in virtual keyboard. Watch the video and join Timothy as he learns about these three devices. (Before you ask: Yes, we'll have more videos from CES over the next few days.)"

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we'll soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673042)

see these as CHICOM knockoffs in the local dollar store

Thinkpad T430 non-ultrabook (!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673058)

Hi. If you are at CES, please stop by the Lenovo stand and review the non-ultrabook (!!) version of the Thinkpad T430!

Re:Thinkpad T430 non-ultrabook (!) (2)

isopropanol (1936936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673458)

How many different sizes of screw does it use?

Re:Thinkpad T430 non-ultrabook (!) (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673676)

Just one. It screws you in the ass.

Re:Thinkpad T430 non-ultrabook (!) (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38683534)

Hi there!

I don't know if I'll have a chance to, but I'll add it to the way-too-long list of things I'd like to do.

I'll likely write up a longer explanation soon, but the fact is I didn't get to see nearly as much as I'd hoped -- always the case, at a big trade show.

Cheers,

timothy

Touchfire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673060)

Can't wait to get my hands on one of these.

Interesting products (4, Insightful)

nanoflower (1077145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673066)

I have no interest in any of these products but I do find them interesting. Touchfire looks like a good product for someone that has decided to use an Ipad (though if you really need a keyboard that much why not use a laptop?) The virtual computer is neat just for the way it handles mouse and keyboard inputs without actually having a keyboard/mouse. The last product they talked about, Snapkeys, would irritate me since it would force you to learn an entirely new way to type in order to use it. It's another case of forcing the user to change his behavior to accommodate the lack of a keyboard on a tablet.

Re:Interesting products (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673266)

I have no interest in any of these products but I do find them interesting.

A fine distinction, indeed...

Re:Interesting products (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673398)

I have no interest in any of these products but I do find them interesting.

I really don't care what you find interresting and I care a lot about that.

Re:Interesting products (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38674166)

though if you really need a keyboard that much why not use a laptop?

Because you don't need a keyboard all the time. Sometimes you know you'll need it; other times you can leave it at home. This is the concept behind the Eee Pad Transformer by ASUS, which was introduced along with a matching keyboard+battery dock.

F****** hipster scum! (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38675820)

They're aiming this product at hipster tossers [touchfire.com] (*) who bought the iPad and gushed about it to their friends. Now "no keyboard" is no longer "underground", (**) which gives them an excuse to admit to themselves that it's actually really fucking annoying trying to use one without it, and rush out and buy the latest iOverpricedAccessoryTat.

(*) Seriously, *look* at the guy- he's the archetypal odious hipster twat if ever I saw one. It's the bloody hat that does it- he deserves to be beaten to death with his obnoxiously-angled self-consciously hipster headwear, if that was physically possible. Sadly it's not, so we'd just have to settle for choking him to death by shoving it down his throat. >:-(

(**) It never was, but when every man and his dog has an "exclusive" iPad, you really can't pretend any more.

"That's kind of neat." (-1, Offtopic)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673074)

There's no need to tell us what's neat or not. We're capable of making up our own minds about that.

Re:"That's kind of neat." (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673246)

Yea, Timothy can go suck my cock. He will never be as good as cowboy neal.

Re:"That's kind of neat." (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673358)

He will never be as good as cowboy neal.

I was going to ask at what, but it's probably best not to...

Dear Apple (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673076)

I know you bought this company so you could do something with it; But until you do, please can we have the FingerWorks TouchStream back.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673366)

Isn't that the technology underlying the Magic Trackpad?

http://www.apple.com/magictrackpad/ [apple.com]

Is there a reason why one couldn't create a driver to work w/ two of them and print an overlay for a keyboard?

Re:Dear Apple (2)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673732)

Yes, that is the same technology, completely stripped of everything that made it awesome. To compare the TouchStream to the Magic Trackpad is to completely underestimate the TouchStream. I recently sold my original TouchStream for 50% more than I paid for it, a decade ago. It boggles the mind that Apple isn't in the business of selling $500 keyboards to users who desperately want to buy them.

Matias sells $600 keyboards (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38674232)

That's because Matias has already cornered the market on its $600 keyboards [matias.ca]. I'm guessing this has something to do with the fact that health insurers, employers, and governments are willing to pay so much to make a business or agency compliant with the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673770)

I was a TouchStream owner until recently. I bought a Truly Ergonomic keyboard and am quite happy with it. My favorite feature of the TS was the columnar layout, and the TE keyboard does a good job in that regard. Obviously the TE doesn't have the multitouch gestures, but it does have physical keys. To some people, that means it is not at all a replacement for the TS, but for others like me, it means it is the perfect replacement for the TS. Good luck.

PS I'm typing this on the TE right now. I recommend it.

All in One (2)

PerlJedi (2406408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673136)

I personally find the "All in One" computer there the most intersting. It reminds me a bit of Sixth Sense [pranavmistry.com] wearable gesture interface from ted talks a few years back.

Re:All in One (2)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673278)

It needs to be thinner / look more sexy. Also, those laser keyboard suck, as there is 0 tactile feedback.

I also think that some of the stuff it does is pointless, if they are really going for a mobile device (many of the ports, and maybe even the projector?, also it's too big and fat to be something you carry around), and on the other hand, some of it's features are pointless if it's NOT a mobile device (built in mouse/keyboard/touchscreen) - it does not look like a particularly handy device to hold, so the touchscreen seems like an unnecessary expense...

nice (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673178)

I think that gel keyboard for the ipad is stupid - but I still enjoyed seeing it in action after we had discussed it here. (I also think the ipad is stupid, but people keep buying them - so maybe that keyboard will do well too.)

I still don't get how the invisible keyboard works. Would have appreciated him doing more than explaining that letters are shaped differently and then using it when I can't really see what he's doing.

That last little machine was neat.

All in all - I enjoyed this and look forward to the next videos.

Re:nice (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673216)

I still don't get how the invisible keyboard works. Would have appreciated him doing more than explaining that letters are shaped differently and then using it when I can't really see what he's doing.

There's a little mouse-clickable demo on the product's website that lets you try out the concept to get an idea for how it works. It's kind of annoying because it forces you to think about the shape of each letter as you type, which basically means you have to learn a whole new way of typing, and it's somewhat non-intuitive. I imagine that it would get easier the more you used it, though.

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673436)

Good for 'dictionary words', but I can imagine the fun to enter a reasonably secure password...

Re:nice (1)

Pokermike (896718) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673592)

I agree that thinking about letter shapes is not what I want to do while typing -- maybe that works for people that write all the time, but not me. I'd prefer the letters be grouped by sound. Not sure how, but certainly all of the vowels would be on 1 "schwa" key.

Re:nice (2)

g253 (855070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38674344)

Having toyed with the demo, I think the idea is that at first you need to sort of visualize the letters as you type, but you quickly develop muscle memory for that because there are only four keys and the mnemonic is easy and visual. It's not something like Dvorak where you would have a steep learning curve before payoff... But I'd sure be interested to know how non-dictionary words are handled - this is where those alternative keyboards usually fail.

Re:nice (1)

g253 (855070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38674084)

Yeah, none of the videos I could find actually explain how it works. They just keep repeating it's awesome and show people fiddling fuzzily with their screens.

Re:nice (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673310)

I thought the gell keyboard was by far the most clever product...I dont have a tablet, but something like that could make it more viable?

Re:nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38674226)

I can get something similar by obscuring half of my monitor with my keyboard, and typing slower.

Snapkeys is vaporware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673332)

Snapkeys is vaporware or at least it looks like it. Give us a real keyboard app for Android instead of a demo that makes you type predefined phrases and we'll might just buy it. I'm also afraid that it has trouble working with other languages than English.

Re:Snapkeys is vaporware (1)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673438)

Not only does it seem like vaporware; the app, which is not even a functioning keyboard app, is 19.4 MB large! That is almost as large as my full-fledged GPS navigation app (excluding the maps, obviously). Adding insult to injury, it is "not compatible with my device", which is a pretty common LG Android phone (more than 2 million units sold). I am disappoint, to say the least.

Re:Snapkeys is vaporware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673580)

You must be wrong. There is no fragmentation in Android. You must be some kind of apple fanboi troll.

He got to cover keyboards at CES? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673360)

Damn, how'd he land that sweet gig?

I'll get one... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673364)

...when it projects those images directly on to my frickin' retina!

invisible keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673396)

Here is my invisible money. Thank you very much :)

keyboards? (1)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673576)

there are keyboards at a CES?

i thought everybody uses these touchy smarty iThingies these days.

i thought keyboards [wikimedia.org] are for ubergeeks only these days.

Overlay keyboard (1)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673624)

In 2010, an overlay keyboard was one of the first obvious needs that occurred to me [slashdot.org] when the iPad came out. I'm surprised it took this long.

Hilarious! Life threatening! (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38673746)

If you click through on the invisible keyboard link, there's a hilarious video in their "Video Gallery" where a guy sticks this on his steering wheel so he can text while driving.

What's really funny is that they're serious.

Tim Lord? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38673780)

Pretty sure Mr. Tim Lord's parents are Doctor Who fanatics. Who else would name their child as close to "Time Lord" as possible yet change it just enough to live a somewhat-normal life?

Rigged demo? (1)

naroom (1560139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38674140)

Watch the Snapkeys video in the link. Notice how the user starts typing one word, and then autocorrect changes it to something completely different. "foo" autocompletes to "movie"? This feels an awful lot like the Hacker Typer [hackertyper.net].

Re:Rigged demo? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38674864)

What exactly is that supposed to do? I even whitelisted hackertyper.net in noscript. All I get is a black page after hitting "hack".

and the transcript is .... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38674152)

watched but would have like to read what was being said, youtube has automatic transcription (but only on some videos ).
At least Slashdot could have provided a transcript.
next poll should be could you hear the video ?
yes
no
I have no ears you insensitive clod.

Next gen superphones (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38675054)

Microsoft holds patents on virtual multitouch in 3D space (as well as scanning for motions against an arbitrary surface) with camera and possibly some simple light spectrums. also they have patents on hot swappable modular cell phone hardware. Next gen smart phones under MS Windows phones or possibly under license by MS on Androids, will have "typing" on surfaces or even in the air, simply by making gestures in space towards a front facing camera (or one that can be pointed, for example, at the table in front of you). you can swap in seperately powered mini projector (or a roll-out display, they exist) or better yet, just a foldout blank sheet upon which the phone will project a screen, and BOOM and you have a compact phone that does real computing. It's already out of their labs, so expect it in a year or two.

All in one device too large. (1)

LordDragoon (655748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38675364)

When they get that All-in-one computing device down to the size of my cell phone and it'll run Crysis at 60 fps I am so there!

I thought touchscreens were the future? (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38676588)

The first link is especially funny, as they've merely recreated Alan Kay's original vision [wikipedia.org] from 1968!

Sorry folks, the keyboard is not dead and touch screens are not the future. Prepare to get over it.

ok... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38680516)

1. Do not know why but i really want that cube computer!

2. When did /. start producing original content?!

Business plan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38683510)

Here's my business plan: develop a vending machine where you put in an iPad and $500 and out pops a $500 laptop.

Any sponsors?

SnapKeys iPhone/iPad support? (1)

ray_nicov (732928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38684926)

Cannot see how they are going to support iOS devices - the demo clearly shows some custom app which is worthless. I still have to see any kind of custom keyboard (outside of Cydia) for iOS, which is a shame because Swype or SlideIt keyboards would really be great

Wow great...not. (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687356)

TouchFire completely useless. First you need to buy the Apple iPad 2 cover and then every time I want to type I have to close and open the cover in a special way? Fail.

Snap keys seems a plausible way to rapidly enter text on a tablet, once you learn how to use it, I mean, if you want to spend the time to learn to use it.

And another vaporware projection PC product.

Looks like keyboard-less typing is still a fail in 2012 which solidifies that Tablets != PC's yet.

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