Project Overview

Project Title:
  • ARK Keyboard: Advanced Rangefinding Keyboard using Infrared Laser Sensors
Group Members:
  • Eric Jones
  • Andrew English
  • Eric Bartgis
Problem Statement:
  • Design an economical system that can transform any flat surface into a usable keyboard interface without tactile sensors
  • Prototype a system that could be miniaturized and be self contained within a phone itself
Business Relevance:
  • There are 5.3 billion active cell phone contracts
    • 77% market penetration
  • There are 555 million active cell phone data plans 
    • Rapidly increasing in the developing world 
  • There are 302 million smart phones sold in 2010
    • Smart phone sales increased 74.4% since 2009 and will continue to grow at a high rate 
Background:
  • The majority of phones are becoming all touch screen
    • Touch screens are ideal for multimedia interaction but not for text input
    • Built in virtual keyboard on cell phones would allow people the ability to type quicker and do more with their phones
  • Keyboard docks have been created to try to solve the problem of text input, but they are still not portable 
  • External virtual keyboards have also been created, but are expensive and hard to miniaturize