By David Ponce
Sometimes… well, heck, no… most of the time we end up wanting gadgets just because they look cool, and today is no exception. A concept from Jason Giddings, an aerospace engineer and CEO of Giddings Product Development, this awesome looking multitouch sensitive keyboard and mouse combo is made from a special curved piece of tempered glass, and a couple of cameras in the base. Here’s how they work:
The design is based on a touch screen technology known as FTIR or Frustrated Total Internal Reflection. There are basically infrared LEDs placed at the edge of the glass. In this case, they are hidden inside holes where the glass is mounted to the metal base. Because of the low angle at which the light impacts the internal glass surface, it is bounced around inside the glass, much like looking through a tube to see the reflections on the inside walls. When the glass is touched it frustrates the reflection and the IR light is diffused downward, out of the glass, allowing the camera to see it. Software then determines the location and sends the appropriate information to your computer.
Jason is trying to raise $50,000 through Kickstarter and he’s off to a good start since he’s already at $24,415 right now. There appears to be no working prototype at the moment, although Jason’s experience in the field of product design (having successfully brought several products to market) should smooth over fears that this is vaporware.
If you want to go ahead and pre-order, it’s $150 for the mouse, $250 for the keyboard, or $350 for both. Not cheap. But look at them.