Microsoft is working on a Kinect-style keyboard that can track your hand gestures. This is done by using a low-resolution proximity sensors that are embedded between the keys on the keyboard.
The prototype has 64 sensors. The sensors are good enough to detect and recognize common hand gestures, such as hovering, swiping, pinching to zoom in and out, and tapping in the air. This keyboard prototype was presented in the Computer Human Interaction conference held in Toronto, Canada.
Stuart Taylor, a Microsoft senior research engineer said,"The main goal is for users to be able to keep their hands-on or very close to the keyboard while typing and using input gestures." He continued,"What we've found is that for some of the more complicated keyboard shortcut combinations, performing gestures seems to be a lot less overhead for the user."
Microsoft has been working on this project for about a year-and-a-half. Though gesture control in touchscreens on portable devices is pretty common, one couldn't help but wonder if desktop (or notebook) users would find this feature useful.
As of now, Microsoft has no immediate plans to commercialize this concept.