Watching someone typing on a plain table surface with a tablet recording the keystrokes is an unbelievable experience. However, if Fujitsu has got it right, this may be the future of data input with tablet devices. The entire setup lacks any special hardware units (especially not a keyboard). Instead, the magic lies in the software and the way it translates finger movements tracked by the tablet’s built-in camera. Fujitsu focused a light source on the typing fingers to ensure they were bright enough for the camera, and subsequently the software could track the movements easily. Someone with a darker skin tone may require stronger illumination, though further tweaks to the software can perhaps set this straight.
The way the entire thing works is as follows: the fingers hit the surface just as they would do on a physical keyboard. The tablet’s webcam picks up these movements, which in turn is the only input for the underlying software. The software will process the finger movements and compare those gestures to what they would have hit on a physical keyboard. That’s pretty exciting technology, though it is still in the early prototype stages. The closest we have seen to this would be a devices that projects the image of a keyboard on a flat surface. The prototype that Fujitsu showed off at the MWC is better in that it does away with any special hardware. The tablet’s built-in camera can get the job done. Surely Fujitsu will try to incorporate the technology in its future tablet plans. What remains to be seen is how soon we can expect the tech to make it to the market.