Samsung’s magic invisible keyboard probably won’t be on the Galaxy S11


c-lab-at-ces2020-main-selfietype

Samsung

This story is part of CES 2020, our complete coverage of the showroom floor and the hottest new tech gadgets around.

In case typing on the humongous Galaxy Note 10 Plus screen doesn’t offer you quite enough finger space, Samsung has a plan for an invisible keyboard that tracks your fingers using the front-facing selfie camera on your phone or tablet. The keyboard, cunningly named SelfieType, uses AI to “see” your fingers as you tap them on the desk in front of your propped-up phone.

It “analyzes finger movements coming from the front camera, and converts them into QWERTY keyboard inputs,” Samsung explains. “SelfieType requires no additional hardware and it is highly adaptable to various mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.”

Don’t get your hopes up for magical invisible keyboards just yet though; virtual keyboards have appeared before — using laser projection — and they’ve never really caught on, given that they’re far too unreliable to work at speed. Since this SelfieType concept doesn’t appear to project any kind of keyboard in front of the phone, it’s unclear how you’d know what keys you’re typing. Sure, those of you used to accurate touch-typing might be fine, but if you tend to look at the keys, this may not work well.

It’s being shown off at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, as part of Samsung’s “C-Lab” project, which takes ideas from in-house staff and potentially makes them a reality. There’s no word on whether SelfieType will ever see the light of day, but it’s safe to assume it won’t be a core feature of the upcoming Galaxy S11.



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