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A laser-projected keyboard

The aptly named MagicCube will blow you away.

by larry urishPublished: December 01, 2012

If you’re over 40, you surely remember the gold ol‘ days when you pounded away on your manual typewriter, which required about 5 kilos of downward force to press every key. Here’s an overview for all you kids who grew up with flat-screen computers: Each key corresponded to a letter of the alphabet that was connected in a Rube Goldberg-esque fashion to a thin metal arm. Attached to the end of each arm was a tiny die-cast letter. Whenever a key was pressed, the arm swung, like a mini-hatchet, into the paper with a resounding “clack.”
   
Electric typewriters and word processors came and went, but keyboard designs didn’t progress much until Apple released its iPhone, with its groundbreaking “swipe-to-keyboard-screen” function. (As expected, rip-offs soon followed.) Unfortunately, the iPhone’s digital keys seem to work best if you happen to have thumbs as thin as Q-tips. The technology utilized by the iPhone (and it’s cousins – see “rip-offs,” above) represents a stunning leap.
   
Well, here’s another one that’ll get your attention: a keyboard that’s not a keyboard. 
   
The MagicCube is a small box-shaped device that projects a laser image of a full-sized keyboard, as well as a multi-touch mouse, onto any flat opaque surface. It’s easy to use, and its cool factor is through the stratosphere. (Typing something as dull as a 200-page legal brief can now be a giddy experience.)
   
Produced by Celluron, a Seoul, Korea-based maker of portable-input devices, The MagicCube wirelessly connects to any Bluetooth HID device, including iPhones, iPads and Androids. You can also use it with Windows and Mac OS devices via a USB connection. The key-detection rate is 350 characters per minute, and its rechargeable lithium-polymer battery provides 150 minutes of power at 700 milliamps per hour. And it sure beats pounding on plastic keys. celluon.com