Alternative hack for the Gesture Keyboard

Long time for this post too! eh. mugging for the exams is quite a shakle to breakaway from :-P The reason I am writing this post amid the tests is being overwhelmed by Rahul Motiyar's new multitouch monitor mount hack. The thoughts from the B'lore trip and the above work culminated :-P

I happened to visit and take a look around HPL India B'lore. The way gesture keyboard solves the problem of indic languges was sure eye catcher. Its a tablet with a Stylus input interface using which a computer newbie can type in Hindi almost with zero learning curve. A big boon over the present Hindi keyboards, which work fast- but only for a very specially trained people.

 The HPLab's Gesture Keyboard

A generic Hindi keyboard

The way it works makes Devnagari entry a breeze. I happened to think about some extensions that could be done with this interface. "Why not make a simple computer screen work like a gesture keyboard with almost zero hardware mods"
The point is to learn from the Optical setups that the wonderful open source community is using today. A camera mounted over a infrared laser lit LCD can easily track the touch points- add to it, it can work a multitouch input panel too.

  • Mount a modified PS3 eye to track infrared over the monitor. Optionally, a wiimote can also be used(  tried Wiimote's IR tracking, works well for small IDs)

  • Write an GTK/WPM Module similar to Gesture Keyboard that would popup as soon as Hindi typing method is invoked

  • Align the Infrared Lasers right over the acrylic sheet such that a light plane parallel to the screen is generated.

  • The LLP mount when fitted over the LCD will track multiple IR points with almost zero force

  •  Gestures are parsed accordingly using a touch tracker( OpenCV, Touchlib) , and overlapping keyboard is calibrated.

Total Cost for the hack=Rs 500 for generic webcam+ Rs 1000 for two IR Laser modules.