Virtual ‘Keyless’ Keyboard Makes Any Surface Interactive
Type on wood, let plastic surfaces collect digital inputs, or make etchings on metal or glass fully interactive. Simply define your keyboard layout and plug-and-play with the AnySurface Keyboard.
Whether you are looking for a keyboard for the factory floor, for an outdoor machine, or to use in a sterile environment, options are bountiful. A quick search in Google will give you options for industrial keyboards that are washable, sterilizable, moisture proof, vandal proof, silicone covered or made of tough metals. But what do they all have in common? Well, as expected, they all have buttons. What if you could make any surface interactive, removing the need for mechanical buttons that evidentially need sterilizing, washing – and eventually replacing? Then the choice is made easy.
The AnySurface keyboard developed by HY-LINE is an innovative solution for alphanumeric input anywhere it is needed. The keyboard can be placed on any surface material where it then emits a ‘virtual keyboard’ over the surface using infrared technology. The virtual keyboard can be configured to any layout, making the facade it sits upon completely interactive, whether it is glass, metal, wood, plastic, paper or even stone.
The first virtual keypad for industrial use
Smart and compact, the virtual keyboard was developed by HY-LINE to tackle common problems in rugged environments, where dirty conditions can make buttons stick or typing with protective gloves is difficult. It provides a wear-free solution for the field, without the risk of failure or downtime. It offers:
Complete design freedom
Freely selectable surfaces
Wear-and-tear free, without mechanical components
Modifiable key arrangement, either alphabetic, numeric or other
Compatible with all systems that use traditional keyboards
The virtual keyboard controller can easily be retrofitted to any device using a standard USB HID connection. No modification of your application is necessary. Moreover, the size of the individual buttons can freely be defined so the possible applications and use cases are extremely flexible.
How it works
The AnySurface Keyboard uses the latest generation of infrared sensor technology from Neonode. The infrared sensors create the invisible keyboard layer which is then used to precisely determine the input position, even with multi-key input. This allows for the capture of multiple input combinations such as Ctrl + Alt + Del.
The keyboard is extremely accurate and also allows acoustic key feedback on touch or visual display of capital letters [Shift-Lock] for seamless operation.
Frank Behrmann, Manager SW/Digitalization/IoT at HY-LINE, explains: “We wanted to develop a solid solution that would solve real-world problems. We knew that mechanical wear in rugged environments can be challenging, so instead of building a solution that is protected with high mechanical effort against the various industrial environment conditions, we developed a virtual solution that is adaptable to any environment and requirement."
Bastien Beauvois, Vice President Sales EMEA at Neonode, added: “With the AnySurface reference design, HY-LINE has demonstrated once more the value that they add to Neonode technology. Now, customers across the medical, industrial and elevator markets can design keyboards and keypads that are compatible with their respective and demanding operational environments, whilst continuing to use their preferred support material.”
To learn more about the AnySurface Keyboard, visit: hy-line-group.com/anysurface
The HY-LINE Group, based in Germany and Switzerland, are global distributors of electronic components and modules. They offer standard products from well-known manufacturers as well as customized system solutions that are specially tailored to customer-specific development. HY-LINE is an official value-added reseller of Neonode technologies.