Now here’s a real wow of a product. Having caught a Barry Gibb concert last year, which featured a twenty-minute finale featuring the virtual return of Barry’s deceased brothers Robin, Maurice and Andy in an erstwhile Bee Gees reunion at Chicago’s United Center, the possibilities of virtual technology are endless. So when I caught sight of the CTX VK200 Virtual Laser keyboard, all new and green (or red if you want it) and white and shiny at this year’s CES, I recognized a new sleek product that stood alone and unique among literally hundreds of thousands presented at over 15,500 booths.
CTX Technologies are a Sino-Canadian company who don’t have a lot to say about their history, mission, corporate vision or goals on their website; nevertheless, their employees at CES were top notch and knew their product better than any crew I dealt with. Having publicly experimented with the product since its initial introduction in 2012, it’s been a virtual tech means of growing up in public
The CTX VK200 projects a full-size, normal 78-key keyboard in a Qwerty layout off a transmitter that’s approximately the size of a deck of playing cards and weighs less than 80 grams. Connected via Bluetooth to any IPhone 3GS/4 or higher, the iPad iOS4 or higher, Blackberry, Android 2.0 and higher, Windows Phone 7, Windows XP/VISA 7 & 8 and Playbook and any Mac OS… actually I think it basically works on any laptop whatsoever. This is a very eclectic product. And because of the cute little keyhole on its right top corner, it really can fit on your key ring.
The world’s very first true green virtual laser keyboard allows over three hours of continuous usage per charge. Better yet it charges through your USB. And there are no drivers to install.
What’s really cool if you’re not a keyboard virtuoso is that the typing mode allows two kinds of typing techniques. The traditional technique means you can keep all ten fingers on the table while you thrash away, or there’s the other way, which means you’re a good-old-fashioned hunt-and pecker. Additionally, its mouse mode allows you to go DIY and use your own finger as the mouse instead. It also has a built-in display that shows you the very last three keys you typed in.
Its true green semiconductor laser diode is very durable and reliable, shining up to three times brighter than red keyboard projections. Until now, converting the wavelength of infrared laser light from a light source meant more expensive experiments with optical materials because conventional green lasers repeatedly showed more than a few problems. So, over the last year, CTX worked on thoroughly improving its entire semiconductor laser production process, including electrode configuration. So that’s what we have now, a conductor laser with an optical output power of more than 50 milliwatts at a wavelength of 520 nanometers.
The word I used earlier was eclectic. Consider, for example, if you work in a sterile lab and have to change your gloves because of contamination every time you had to touch your keyboard… Now this ultra-cool keyboard allows you to project the keyboard onto a sterile surface. Bright because of its LED display, it pairs up brilliantly with my pain-in-the ass iPad, so that my big man’s fingers no longer seem to be like a bunch of bananas when I use its goofy little mini-keyboard. Hypersensitivity can be a problem, leaving you with more letters that you meant to type, but it’s a pretty low negative on this super toy’s Richter scale.