29 September 2017

AR Patent Kills The Keyboard

The future of typing may no longer include a keyboard. Recently, Microsoft’s newly granted patent, titled 'Holographic keyboard display', describes what the future of text input could look like. Using a virtual keyboard plane to sense a user’s inputs, the AR/VR system will function like a normal keyboard and read users’ gestures to simulate typing. The grant mentions gaming as a first application, but Microsoft’s entrenched interest in enterprise IT makes the workplace another obvious application.

Combined with its headset AR/VR technology, future knowledge workers may not need desks, or even centralized workplaces. Instead, smartglasses could virtualize the desktop PC as we know it, allowing workers to type from any position and from any part of the world using hand gestures. The patent description notes an HMD (head-mounted display) device that would contribute to the tracking system. But the patent describes the virtual keyboard as being applicable for both virtual and mixed reality headset applications.

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