Gesture And Touch Support For New Microsoft Keyboard

Microsoft Research continues to tread to areas that no other major technology company would dream of. Rumors float around Microsoft’s new interest in creating and releasing a keyboard that combines the traditional keyboard with mouse. For users who hate to lift their hands from the keyboard and use the mouse, this may come as a new surprise! The new prototype that Microsoft is currently working on, will not replace the mouse, but would rather compliment it. Apple implemented a similar idea first, which incorporates a multi-touch function pad onto the standard keyboard. However, they preferred to improve on this feature rather than duplicate it. Our Microsoft support team was contacted by a large number of users who wanted to know when this product will be available on the market.

The infrared proximity sensors used to recognize gestures are mounted above the screen caps. This way, instead of using a specific touch pad, the entire keyboard becomes a touch pad plus conventional keyboard! Don’t be fooled by the low resolution of the IR sensors fitted into the keyboard; they are capable of capturing high frame rate motion data. The machine-learning algorithm used in recognizing the gestures can recognize both static and dynamic motion signatures. All these gesture recognition functions are done using mere 96 bytes!

Till now, Microsoft Research has recorded a mean per-frame classification accuracy of 75.6% in leave–one–subject–out and 89.9% in half-test/half-training cross-validation. However, the prototype version is yet to be released in the market as further improvement in accuracy is required.

Thus, features like pinch-to-zoom and swiping to change the window, which were only available in touch screen display devices will be soon available in standard desktop Personal Computers. Not only would this feature improve productivity in workplaces, but this keyboard can be used for gaming as well. One example video released by Microsoft shows a driving game controlled by your hands kept above the keyboard. This would completely change the types of games and their controllability in years to come.

The technology used in this new prototype keyboard is shockingly simple. However, users would have to wait for a long time before this product is available on the market, because the device is still in testing phase. Once it’s released, Windows users would have to download and install new drivers to make full use of the gesture recognition system. If you want to know more details on the product, feel free to contact our Microsoft support team.
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