World's Thinnest Keyboard As Thin As a Sheet of Paper
Published on: 4th Sep 2013
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
By: Ian Mansfield
The world's thinnest keyboard has been shown off which is about the same thickness as a single sheet of paper.
Tech firm CSR developed the flexible wireless keyboard is less than 0.5 mm thick, turns any area into a touch surface. Combining CSR's low-power wireless technology with the latest in printable, flexible electronics and touch screen sensing, the device could be used to extend the touch interface of tablets and smartphones.
Light weight and flexible, the keyboard could be integrated into a protective cover on a tablet or used to create large touch zones on a desktop. With minimal weight and bulk, a full keyboard experience can be added to a tablet without taking up valuable screen area. Thin enough to slip behind the pages of a notebook, it can be used to pick up handwriting and sketches from the nib of a modified pen.
The paper-thin surface is wirelessly connected using the recently launched CSR1010 Bluetooth chip, which is optimised solely for Bluetooth Smart. This allows it to connect to the latest iOS7 mobile devices and Windows 8 PCs using a fraction of the power of standard Bluetooth, enabling market-leading battery life and maintaining the smallest form factor. Touch latency is also minimised to less than 12mS, ensuring near instant visual feedback.
"Consumers want innovative, portable wireless accessories that just work with their mobile devices," says Paul Williamson, Director of Low Power Wireless at CSR. "The ultra-thin touch surface we've developed is a perfect example of how Bluetooth Smart can give them just that. We're committed to working collaboratively with developers using the CSR µEnergy platform to help them bring similar next-generation accessories to the market quickly."
CSR partnered with Atmel and Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT) to develop the ultra-thin wireless touch surface. The device uses Atmel's touch silicon to sense multiple contact points on a surface, and can offer a full touch surface or power optimised key detection. The flexible membrane is enabled by CIT printed conductors. CIT's reel-to-reel printing process enables copper and other conductors to be applied to the surface of the ultra-thin and flexible membrane, and can be printed to fit a range of tablet shapes and sizes.