Somewhere and sometime in some imagined future, protagonists in fashionable yet slightly over-fitted clothing have stealthily stolen in to some grand facility, mercilessly protected by a merciless faction, hell bent on doing something dastardly. They access a panel with their device and a keyboard is projected onto the surface in front of them.
Or maybe that was me and a few other reporters gathered around the founder of a Kickstarter campaign here at CES 2017. Serafim Technologies, a Taiwanese-based company led by CEO GZ Chen, has a new toy called iKeybo in store for all those who’ve imagined what it would be like to set words down my tapping nothing but mere light.
Chan’s keyboard looks magical but its principles are easy to understand. The device connects to the tablet via bluetooth. It projects light into the form of typeset or player keyboard and when that light is broken in a certain area, it registers a key, which is then sent over bluetooth and reflected on the screen.
Using this tech will set you back one steep learning curve as you determine how to hold down Shift while choosing a key to type in uppercase. Another caveat is how difficult it is to make out individual keys when the surface the keyboard is portrayed on isn’t uniform. Without the slight bump of the home keys, one must focus on adapting to the spacing of the keyboard in order to become proficient.
GZ Chan’s finest accomplishment wasn’t how the device typed, but how it played. They keyboard was impressive. Owing to the fact that they piano keys were larger and more simple than the typeset ones, the sounds rang true from his iPad on every stroke. He was playing a digital piano.