If you ever felt that your onscreen mobile phone keyboard, as well designed as it could be, was still a bit of a constraint in terms of space? Ever wished that that the slide out QWERTY keypads on mobile handsets would have been just a bit bigger? Well, put those thoughts to rest as one Japanese company, Elecom, has brought back an old concept that could just put your mobile phone keyboard woes to rest.
The portable laser keyboard has been a concept that’s been around the tech zone for quite some time now. The device is essentially a box like product with a laser projector that will display a full QWERTY keyboard on any clean surface. It syncs with your mobile handset via Bluetooth and creates a virtual keyboard almost the size of any standard physical keyboard on any surface. This gives you the freedom of space to type and the convenience of not hauling around a large bulky device. Each time you hit a letter on the virtual keypad projection it disrupts the signal and the wireless unit sends signals to the corresponding mobile phone via Bluetooth 2.0. It even has the functionality of a mouse, which moves the cursor on the device as you move your fingertip on the laser surface.
Wireless and keyless, too
Elecom’s addition to this type of technology is the TK-PBL042BK that features a built in lithium-ion battery that the company says will last up to 2 hours (non-stop usage). The Elecom option can throw out a red keyboard on flat surface whose key pitch is 19mm and you could type at 350 characters a minute without a problem. It has 3 different brightness levels, which help conserve the battery when necessary. The range between the receiver and phone is pretty wide, so typing from that laser keyboard during meeting and press conferences would also work out.
It’s priced at approximately a whopping Rs.17,400 ($348), which puts it quite a bit above the price reach of most mobile users for a product like this. Although it’s not a recent innovation and merely building on some of the devices and concepts that came before, with the price tag like this, you’d have to give it some serious thought on whether or not it deserves to be in your gadget bag.