Virtual keyboard and gesture control system on brink of development

A virtual keyboard was recently developed by researchers at Mälardalen University (MDH) in Sweden. The concept uses existing head mounted displays, such as Google Glass, and a pair of wrist or hand-worn sensors that support gesture control as well as sensing the keyboard input. The research project started in 2005 with a focus on robotic vision and developers are now confident that, with extra funding, they could have a product in a year.

Lars Asplund, Professor Emeritus in Robotics at MDH, said: “Keyboards today look almost the same as, and work in almost the same way, as 19th century typewriters. Our virtual keyboard makes a completely new form of interaction possible and offers positions which may, for instance, decrease the risk of repetitive strain injury.”

Asplund’s research team moot a number of possible business and individual applications for the solution including use in small spaces and for journalists conducting interviews. The solution could also make its way into wider virtual reality applications, in either entertainment or research and development, as well as providing field workers with a system to type notes while working out of the office.

The team is now calling for more funding. “The project has great potential and can be completed in a year, but we need another SEK 10-15 million (approximately €1.1-1.7 million) to develop the hardware design, manufacture a series and launch the product on the market,” said Asplund.