Recently I came across a posting on My Treo regarding the Virtual Laser Keyboard that uses Bluetooth. As much as I am a supporter of Bluetooth products, I think this one is definitely a novelty item.
Though it might seem like the coolest thing to have by face, a keyboard that works by tracing the reflection of a laser back into a sensor as it displays a keyboard onto a surface (not quite sure how it does on red or on glass yet, anyone know?). It is definitely an interesting idea and yes, it does work, however the speed is not the greatest, so for those of you that are touch typists or just happen to have the keyboard memorized and rarely look down at it, this is probably not the newest toy for you.
At the firm for which I am gainfully employeed, there is a technology petting zoo. This just happens to be one of the items that they’ve had on display for a few months now. I went and toyed with it and definitely was not impressed, mostly due to the fact that it sometimes didn’t pick up my keystrokes and those times that it did, it required me to slow down my typing speed significantly.
If you’re looking for a great keyboard (and hey maybe I’ll even suggest ones that are bluetooth) I would recommend either Das Keyboard, an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and yes it does work with Windows XP :-), or the Microsoft Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth. My recommendation with all of these is to find a USB Bluetooth adapter that supports either v1.2 or v2.0 of Bluetooth — granted I know that the Microsoft desktop comes with its own, but it’s v1.1 and has limited profile support.
All that being said, I figure that it wouldn’t hurt to wrap this up, circling back to from whence we came. The laser keyboard is a novel idea, but it’s not suited for use with a workstation unless the user has some sort of reason to not want to use a regular keyboard — I wonder if this could be a cure for someone with carpal tunnel syndrome perhaps? Needless to say, it is quite pricey and my guess is that if it runs off of battery power will require the changing of batteries on a fairly frequent basis. In the cool factor rating, I give it a 6 stars out of 10, in the usability, I give it a 3 stars out of 10.