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Pin Change Virtual Keyboard for PDAs

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd’s subsidiary Pin Change Co Ltd plans to begin sales this year of a virtual keyboard for use with PDAs (personal digital assistants).

This keyboard allows the user to input data by typing on a keyboard that is projected on a desk or other surface.

Pin Change, which specializes in cooperative ventures with start-ups, licensed the technology from Virtual Keyboard Inc., based in the US state of Delaware. The first we saw of this type of device was by VKB Inc. 1 Year ago at CeBit Germany.

The keyboard is projected in infrared and visible light, and sensors detect the movements of the user’s fingers. The projector device weighs just 160 grams and fits easily in a pocket, but it cannot be used in bright light outdoors. Battery-powered and Universal Serial Bus models are available.

The price will be about 10,000 yen or $85 USD, and the company aims to sell 10,000 units a month. In the future, the partners plan to launch other virtual keyboard products, for use with mobile phones or in clean rooms, as well as a PDA with an integrated virtual keyboard.

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