Samsung's 'SelfieType' aims to let you type on an invisible keyboard

Polycount

Posts: 2,791   +571
Staff member

The company today announced that it will be showing off five "innovative" products from its C-Lab start-up incubator. One of the products is "SelfieType," a piece of software that can use a device's front-facing "selfie" camera -- whether it's a laptop, smartphone, or tablet -- to create an invisible keyboard for users to take advantage of.

To use SelfieType, you angle your device's front-facing camera toward your hands and begin typing. So long as all of your fingers are visible, SelfieType's "proprietary" AI engine should be able to analyze your finger movements and interpret them as valid key presses.

The software itself seems quite innovative, but in the real world, we wouldn't be surprised if users have a tough time using it. Just about every digital keyboard out there offers haptic feedback when a button is pressed -- usually a quick vibration combined with an audible "click." Further, when operating the average digital keyboard, users can see precisely which key they're pressing at any given moment, and mistakes are easy to fix.

By necessity, SelfieType appears to be throwing all of that out the window. The software doesn't seem to have any audio or physical feedback, nor does it allow you to look down and see what buttons you're typing.

This is a problem the SelfieType team will likely need to solve before moving forward, but it's hard to say how they might go about doing that. Obviously, you can't add haptic feedback or a holographic keyboard display to a table or airplane tray without external tools, which SelfieType's developers want to avoid.

Still, this is an exciting concept, and if the SelfieType team can overcome the issues laid out above, it could be a compelling product. Not everybody wants to lug a physical Bluetooth keyboard around with them, and others might find the small size of a smartphone or tablet keyboard to be overly restrictive.

If SelfieType takes off, perhaps it could solve both of those problems, but only time will tell. The software is not yet available to users, and it will likely be a while before that changes.

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Puiu

Posts: 4,321   +3,092
TechSpot Elite
This is not new technology. Even with a projector that shows the image on your desk, it still is a slow and painful way of writing.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,786   +2,798
They've had holographic keyboards demoed in the past... and they never got off the ground because of a lack of haptic feedback... So now, the answer is to remove the holograph as well? Not sure I see this succeeding.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,981   +6,752
Not the first product to try this .... and it failed for lack of acceptance in the marketplace. There was a proposed upgrade that would actually project a keyboard on the desktop but it never went beyond beta, which was a shame because I think that one would have been accepted by a lot more people!
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 379   +522
This is awesome and I’d love to try it. Idk how well what I’d think of typing on a ghost keyboard would be interpreted by the software, but I can easily type up the entire alphabet without seeing or feeling keys.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,789   +697
Staff member
This is awesome and I’d love to try it. Idk how well what I’d think of typing on a ghost keyboard would be interpreted by the software, but I can easily type up the entire alphabet without seeing or feeling keys.
And the press photo Samsung provides shows an angle that clearly is not capturing the fingers. lol
 
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kevbev89

Posts: 264   +215
I think that it would actually be cool to do this. It will make typing emails on the phone much faster!

It would be even cooler if you can do it in the air hahaha
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,343   +5,130
I'm sure this would be an enormous breakthrough for myself, would can't find the letters after the paint wears off the keys.

An invisible keyboard would most likely cut down my typing time for this short post, to under a half an hour, with perhaps a mere hundred or so typos :rolleyes:
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,034   +716
My mind map for keyboard layouts is good as it gets, but how the **** am I suppose to create one for an invisible keyboard?
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,343   +5,130
I tend to think males of today are more likely to be exposed to touch typing, than those of the past. The girls were trained toward secretarial skills. and they could type their little butts off. (And on mechanical typewriters, no less).
We future delinquents were hustled off to woodworking, auto shop, and other non clerical skills..

I had to "decommission" my $4.00 Microcenter keyboard last night, because of the paint wearing off the keys. (Yes I still have to look at the letters while I'm trying to type).

All of that my indeed be "my problem", but I still contend this is a ridiculous and absurd idea.

(Don't even get me started about those stupid scroll pads on laptops).
 

Ean Mogg

Posts: 164   +76
Why don't they put a laser keyboard which is at least visible on every phone as I've been saying is lacking on Smartphones nowadays and a pico projector which the developers seemed to miss every year? and still charge obnoxious prices for what basically isn't any different from models before.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,343   +5,130
I've been saying is lacking on Smartphones nowadays and a pico projector which the developers seemed to miss every year? and still charge obnoxious prices for what basically isn't any different from models before.
Because people are dumb enough to buy them? (Just a wild guess).