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Microsoft Research Demos Motion Sensing Keyboard with Gestures

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Microsoft Research has demoed a new augmented mechanical keyboard that allows users to use motion controls either on or slightly above the keyboard to interact with their computers. The prototype was curiously made using keycaps from an Apple keyboard.

A low-resolution matrix of infrared (IR) proximity sensors is interspersed with the keys of a regular mechanical keyboard. This results in coarse but high frame-rate motion data. We extend a machine learning algorithm, traditionally used for static classification only, to robustly support dynamic, temporal gestures.
The gestures that the keyboard can recognize include traditional gestures like "pinch-to-zoom" and swiping to static gestures like holding a single finger above the keyboard to advanced gestures like turning an imaginary steering wheel.

It's unclear whether the augmented keyboard, referred to as the Type-Hover-Swipe, could eventually turn into a real product, but it's another step in Microsoft exploring motion control after its Kinect device. Apple, too, has been exploring motion sensing with its purchase of PrimeSense, the 3D body sensing firm that developed the technology for Kinect. The Type-Hover-Swipe keyboard is also similar to the technology of Leap Motion, who former Apple iAd chief Andy Miller worked for for close to two years.

Article Link: Microsoft Research Demos Motion Sensing Keyboard with Gestures
 

quietstormSD

macrumors 65816
Mar 2, 2010
1,031
340
San Diego, CA
Pretty cool idea. Glad Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc are pushing the boundaries of modern day computing with their research. Even if they never reach the general public.

One practical application would just to be able to wave my hand over a keyboard to wake a monitor from sleep without pressing any keys
 
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luckydcxx

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2013
1,158
419
Pretty cool idea. Glad Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc are pushing the boundaries of modern day computing with their research. Even if they never reach the general public.

i agree it def is a cool idea, but i wouldn't want it.
 
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Nunyabinez

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2010
1,758
2,230
Provo, UT
I am interested in this, but I am also interested in touch-enabled displays. Yes, I know all about gorilla arms, but as an alternative method, there are times when touching the screen or waving arms might be more useful than a trackpad or a keyboard.

I have an app for iTunes that lets me pause, resume, move to next song etc. using gestures in the air. It is kind of a gimmick now, but the more ways to interact the better I say.

EDIT: FYI the app is Flutter.
 
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furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,781
1,264
Ok. I do a lot of image editing, web coding, typing, etc. I can't even use Apple's Magic Touchpad. I rarely ever use the touchpad of my 15" rMBP. I use a mouse. I click and point and do all things nice. I would never want to be moving body parts just to do something I can simply do with a flick of my wrist.

And to the guy who said he wants a touch screen, for you, I hope Apple comes out with one. For me, I cannot stand any dirt/finger oils, or anything else on my screen. I could never do any work with all kinds of fingerprints. Ever see what an iPad looks like? Now try doing some real work on that with all those finger oils and dust caked in said oils.

No, not for me. The mouse/keyboard combo is the closest thing to perfection I will ever see in my lifetime. For a content creation system, mouse keyboard all the way. For content consumption, sure, touch, motion, etc. that may work. Just stay away from my actual computer with all those gimmicks.
 
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therealtruth

macrumors newbie
Apr 29, 2014
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0
This is how you know Microsoft still doesn't have it. Regardless of whatever this technology is, You don't go out and make a video showing off how innovative you are with some demo technology. You use the thing in an actual product to prove it's real worth.

I will guarantee this thing is a PURE gimmick. They're comfortable showing you a video of something they themselves don't know the value of.
 
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aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
1,411
668
This is how you know Microsoft still doesn't have it. Regardless of whatever this technology is, You don't go out and make a video showing off how innovative you are with some demo technology. You use the thing in an actual product to prove it's real worth.

I will guarantee this thing is a PURE gimmick. They're comfortable showing you a video of something they themselves don't know the value of.

Totally agree. I do wish apple would come out with something like this but do mission control gestures ONLY.
 
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luckydcxx

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2013
1,158
419
This is how you know Microsoft still doesn't have it. Regardless of whatever this technology is, You don't go out and make a video showing off how innovative you are with some demo technology. You use the thing in an actual product to prove it's real worth.

I will guarantee this thing is a PURE gimmick. They're comfortable showing you a video of something they themselves don't know the value of.

agreed, maybe they should put the time and money into a developing a secure OS before they make gimmicky gesture keyboard.
 
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goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,834
2,649
long island NY
One practical application would just to be able to wave my hand over a keyboard to wake a monitor from sleep without pressing any keys

Meh, it would take less effort to just allow gravity to pull your hand towards the key than it is to wave your hand around.
 
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Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,634
2,661
Not far from Boston, MA.
This is how you know Microsoft still doesn't have it. Regardless of whatever this technology is, You don't go out and make a video showing off how innovative you are with some demo technology. You use the thing in an actual product to prove it's real worth.

Microsoft Research does research. Hence the word "research" in its name.
 
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2IS

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2011
2,937
433
This is how you know Microsoft still doesn't have it. Regardless of whatever this technology is, You don't go out and make a video showing off how innovative you are with some demo technology. You use the thing in an actual product to prove it's real worth.

I will guarantee this thing is a PURE gimmick. They're comfortable showing you a video of something they themselves don't know the value of.

Contrary to what you may think, the Apple way isn't the only way, nor is it necessarily the correct way.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,080
27,662
Microsoft taking a page out of Google's playbook. Wake me up when this technology is shipping with a product.
 
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Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,178
2,784
Contrary to what you may think, the Apple way isn't the only way, nor is it necessarily the correct way.

The point a lot of people here are trying to make is that at least with the Apple way, regardless if you believe it to be the correct way or not, is a shipped product that you can go out now and purchase with your money.

The Microsoft way just exists in this video. Good luck actually using it any time soon.
 
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dec.

Suspended
Apr 15, 2012
1,349
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Toronto
Microsoft taking a page out of Google's playbook. Wake me up when this technology is shipping with a product.

This. Plus I have zero interest in racing games. Microsoft can keep this!11!1

But seriously, I think it's quite cool to see what some companies are working on, of course it's a different strategy compared to Apple who (magically) present a (more or less :D ) finished product, but as a tech-interested person in general I find it interesting to see. I'm pretty sure they are fully aware of the bashing that happens on message boards and they just don't care.
 
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Exhale

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2011
499
132
agreed, maybe they should put the time and money into a developing a secure OS before they make gimmicky gesture keyboard.
Yeah... Apple had one of the most amateur security slips in a core security application thats ever been seen just 2 months ago, and they didn't even locate the problem themselves. A bug that was caused not by a single failure, but by a long chain of entry-level failures.

Nobody with a clue holds them in high esteem in regards to security right now. Security programming is a serious business, but an error of this type is the sort that'll see whoever was responsible barred from working security again, possibly for life. I've seen it happen many a time for far lesser errors.
 
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2IS

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2011
2,937
433
The point a lot of people here are trying to make is that at least with the Apple way, it's a shipped product that you can go out now and purchase with your money.

The Microsoft way just exists in this video. Good luck actually using it any time soon.

Yeah? And when was the last time Apple did something remotely exciting? There's nothing wrong with showing off a concept. If there is a viable application for it and can be successfully marketed and sold, someone will run with it.

Thinner iPhone 6? How exciting is that? I can tell you, when I purchased my iPhone 5, I wasn't thinking "I'll bet the iPhone 6 will be fatter"

Someone's thinking outside the box, and it isn't :apple:

I personally don't have any interest in this keyboard, but as an enthusiast of new technology, I'm glad to see someone isn't afraid to do something new.
 
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MisakixMikasa

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2013
776
2
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Microsoft taking a page out of Google's playbook. Wake me up when this technology is shipping with a product.

Companies do lots of researches... Some researches aren't made into commercial products, but this does not mean research aren't useful. Sometimes these research will be part of product in the future. You will never know...
 
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Renzatic

Suspended
But seriously, I think it's quite cool to see what some companies are working on, of course it's a different strategy compared to Apple who (magically) present a (more or less :D ) finished product, but as a tech-interested person in general I find it interesting to see. I'm pretty sure they are fully aware of the bashing that happens on message boards and they just don't care.

You nailed it. No matter what you think of MS, it's hard to say that a keyboard that allows you to navigate the OS through gestures without having to move your hands to a mouse or trackpad is an interesting and potentially useful idea.

Not sold on the racing game, though. I like the physical feedback you get from a controller.
 
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