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3/22/2002
04:48 PM
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Virtual Keyboard Is The Real Thing

Typing into mobile devices is usually awkward at best. Jerusalem startup VKB says it's found a way to eliminate finger cramping with a virtual keyboard.

Using laser technology, a bright red image of a keyboard is projected from a handheld or other device onto a flat surface. An optical-recognition device detects which "keys" the fingers hit. It's designed to support any typing speed, says Amichai Turm, co-founder and chief technology officer of VKB, which plans to sell licenses and components to mobile-device makers whose main concerns are size, weight, and power consumption.

The company also is demonstrating a virtual mouse, and Turm says the technology could replace other everyday interfaces such as phone keypads or on-off switches for lights.

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