Allows the user to swipe above the product to perform on-screen actions

Microsoft develops motion-sensing keyboard prototype

Microsoft Research has developed a motion-sensing keyboard which can sense hand swipes and other gestures performed on and above the device.

The ‘augmented mechanical’ keyboard boasts a low-resolution matrix of infrared (IR) proximity sensors interspersed with the keys of a regular mechanical keyboard.

Users can swipe above the keyboard to scroll through documents or steer an imaginary wheel above the keyboard to control a driving game, for example.

Microsoft says it is experimenting with ‘a large set of gestures’ designed to be performed from the device, is testing accuracy and is gathering qualitative feedback from users.

"We propose the use of motion signatures – a technique that utilises pairs of motion history images and a random forest classifier to robustly recognise a large set of motion gestures," it said in a statement. "Our technique achieves a mean per-frame classification accuracy of 75:6% in leave–one–subject–out and 89:9% in half-test/half-training cross-validation."

Check out a video of the keyboard in action here:

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