4 Mar

Digital Keyboards – The Next Step for Tablet Makers

After witnessing its first ever on-year decline in shipments in 2014, the tablet market is poised for further declines in 2015 due to competition from larger-size smartphones and lack of differentiating technology. Makers have been in a rut over the last 2 years and are struggling how to revamp the technology, and there appears to be very few answers aside from releasing new products either with lower pricing or bigger sizes.


One possibility is to turn the tablet into an ultimate hybrid device and take the 2-in-1 model to a new level through digital keyboards rather than looking to hardware. Currently, tablet makers are aiming to release hybrid models that have detachable keyboards in order to give users the best of both worlds. What tablet makers fail to see from this scenario however is that there are already keyboard accessories such as wireless units from Apple that connect via Bluetooth to fulfill this demand. This means then that the real emphasis for these new tablets has to do with performance, in which case pushing forth an extra piece of hardware that you have to carry around and is quite frankly inconvenient doesn’t make too much sense in the long run.


But what if the tablet could still have a larger screen and be able to type without the need of a keyboard made from clunky, over-priced parts? The path to this would be from embedding projector-like keyboards that can project an image of a keyboard onto any given surface and detect based off light frequencies the keys that are being pressed. This would give a whole new convenience and cutting edge for tablets as well as diversify them from notebooks.


This concept in reality is not too far off and may be the way hardware makers of tablets, phones and notebooks save on costs in the future. It is also the way to make consumers integrate more into the ongoing virtual reality world that is spawning and will most likely take off in 2016.


Beyond Digital Keyboards


Ultimately what we hope to see in the future are devices that can produce screened images of both the keyboards and the display images coming from the device. Imagine what it would be like to have a smartphone-sized computer that not only acted as your phone, but could also be turned into a fully usable computer? Such devices could project digital images that could be manipulated using ones hands and fingers and could easily fit into your pocket. We have all come to believe that computers are something you carry with you in a bag latched across your shoulder but they could very well fit into one’s pocket someday.


Projected Simulation Key for Developers


The concept of projected images is something that has actually been around for a while but for some reason has not moved beyond the film world at large. We are all used to seeing images projected onto screens at movie theatres but have neglected other areas of opportunity for this technology. Given that optics are advanced and small enough to provide sufficient images and content is not lacking, there needs to be combined forces from developers to further this trend into the market as relying on displays is expensive and requires extensive amounts of time and research to bring to the market.

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