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Making any surface an invisible, full-sized iPhone keyboard

Sixth sense technologies have been conceptualized for many years, with consumers dreaming of the day that any surface is a movie screen or keyboard based on their hand movements. Today, we get one step closer to this reality.

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vibrative keyboard

Futuristic technologies are almost ready

If you have an iPhone, you know that there are a lot of awesome things you can do with it, including built-in features and downloadable apps. You even have access to features and apps that would’ve seemed almost impossible just a few years ago. Now there is one more to add to the ever-growing list, but this one is sure to garner your attention immediately.

When typing an email or a text message on your iPhone, you can either use your thumbs on either side of the phone or you can use your pointer finger and peck at the respective letters. While some are insanely fast at their iPhone keyboards, it still can be a little tedious. How many times have you wished that you could type with the ease of a computer keyboard but on your iPhone? Now there’s actually a solution that may solve your typing problem.

Designed by Florian Kräutli, currently a student at the University of London, the Vibrative Virtual Keyboard could give you a little more space for your fingers to type, bringing us one step closer to sixth sense technologies as a reality. Essentially, the Vibrative Virtual Keyboard provides you with an invisible keyboard on the table, desk, or other flat surface your iPhone is laying on. This invisible keyboard is shaped, organized, and positioned like an ordinary keyboard; you just can’t see it. But chances are you know where everything is intuitively.

As the name suggests, the virtual keyboard is completed through the vibrations you create when you type on the invisible keyboard. The certain type of vibration will let your iPhone know, for the most part, which keys you’ve pressed, and it will show up on your phone as if you were typing on a keyboard. The demonstrative video shows someone first typing on a paper that has the appropriate keys printed out. But this is to just help you orient yourself to the width and length of the keyboard. The paper isn’t needed to actually type, as you can do that on any solid, flat surface.

Video demonstration

[pl_video type=”vimeo” id=”49780741″]

Working out the glitches

Because this is a newer idea, all the glitches haven’t been ironed out yet. It’s reported that the Vibrative Virtual Keyboard averages in accuracy at about 80% Because of that 20%, the app comes with an autocorrect feature that helps you get your intended message across.

While it may take ample practice to be able to type without the cheat sheet of the keys, eventually it would become muscle memory and it would feel close to as natural as using a physical keyboard, even if you can’t actually see the keys. Imagine what better notes you can take in meetings and workshops, all from your iPhone, instead of trying to keep up with only two of your fingers typing away. Once all the kinks have been corrected, the Vibrative Virtual Keyboard has the potential to give its users accessibility and flexibility when it comes to taking notes, texting, and emailing.

vibrative virtual keyboard

vibrative virtual keyboard

vibrative virtual keyboard

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tinu

    November 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I used to be able to type fine w/o the keys. Mostly because I came up in the days when getting extra money for being able to touch type fast was a thing. Sounds cool to me.

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Tech News

Time is money and Clockify helps you make the most

(TECH NEWS) Tracking your time worked as a freelancer can easily be lost in the shuffle. A new tool has been designed to make this important aspect easier.

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After years of searching for a method that works for me in terms of organization and productivity, the answer seemed to be simple: a calendar I can write on and Post-It notes. This method is a little old school, but seems to get the job done for my organizational needs.

However, there are some things that slip through the cracks with this method, but it’s more user error than it is the actual practice. One thing I struggle with is keeping track of my freelance hours this way.

I have a tendency to guesstimate how much time I worked throughout the day and know that I wind up underdocumenting my hours. I would hate to know how much money I’ve missed out on keeping (sometimes inaccurate) handwritten notes.

But, like many other small scale issues, there is a simple solution. And that is found in the form of time trackers.

One of the newest members to join the online time tracker team is Clockify, who operates under the idea of “your time, your rules.” It is a free time tracking tool designed for agencies and freelancers.

Clockify allows users to manage as many team members, projects, and workspaces that you need in an effort to help your business run smoothly. This allows for a complete overview of team productivity.

The tool offers a way to enter time manually as well as clock time automatically. This way you can keep tabs on what you’re working on and assign and label time logs to the appropriate clients.

With this time tracking, you are able to generate weekly, monthly, and annual reports at any given time. These reports can be saved, exported, and shared with clients to give them more information about your work process.

The real-time tracking helps to improve business efficiency and gives more insight into what each team member is spending their time on. Having this information available can give visual representation of how to improve in the future.

Clockify currently exists in desktop format with iOS and Android apps coming soon.

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Russia vetoed cryptocurrency and came back with CryptoRuble

(TECH NEWS) Russia put a hard pass on other cryptocurrencies in their country so that they could hop in the crypto-game with their own CryptoRuble.

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Just days after The American Genius reported that the Russian Central Bank would attempt to block access to cryptocurrency trading cites, the Coin Telegraph has reported that the Russian government will issue its very own cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble.

The report cited local Russian papers, who quoted the minister of communications, Nikolay Nikiforov.

Earlier this week, head of the Central Bank, Sergei Shvetsov, said that he would work with the Prosecutor General’s Office to ban Russian citizens from accessing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, calling such currencies a “negative phenomena for our markets” and a “pyramid scheme.”

Now it appears that the Kremlin will create its own cryptocurrency – one it can keep an eye on — which, some might argue, defeats the entire purpose of cryptocurrency.

However, like other cryptocurrencies the CryptoRuble will be based on blockchain and will presumably help prevent online fraud.

CryptoRubles will be exchangeable with regular Rubles, although the systems of exchange have not yet been set up. Experts think that Russia is hoping to stimulate e-commerce without the need for foreign money markets, which will allow them to have more independence from the United States.

According to Nikiforov, the Russian government is setting up its own cryptocurrency under the assumption that if they don’t, other European governments will.

Said NIkiforov, “I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after two months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.”

Traders using CryptoRubles will be asked to provide documentation of retail transactions and services rendered – or pay a 13 percent tax for undocumented transactions, leaving a wide loophole for money laundering.

Critics say that Russia is trying to facilitate, while also profiting from money laundering; that the Kremlin is stealing the market from other cryptocurrencies; and that the CryptoRuble fundamentally defies the spirit of decentralization that inspired other cryptocurrencies.

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Microsoft’s overseas email storage piqued the Supreme Court’s interest

(TECH NEWS) Microsoft has been in a pretty large dispute about storing user emails abroad and the Supreme Court has taken an interest in it.

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The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear a case that will decide whether or not U.S. law enforcement officials can force tech companies to turn over emails and data stored in overseas servers.

The case will review a lower court decision made in 2013 after federal officials attempted to obtain emails from Microsoft that would provide evidence for drug trafficking cases.

At that time, Microsoft refused to comply with the government, even though they had a warrant, instead taking the case to court, claiming that the U.S. government did not have the right to access data stored in servers in Ireland.

The court of appeals ruled in favor of Microsoft, citing a 1986 digital privacy law that allows law enforcement to obtain warrants for electronic communications, but not if the data is stored outside of the United States.

Judge Susan Carney said of the law, “Neither explicitly nor implicitly does the statue envision the application of its warrant provisions overseas.”

The Trump Administration and the Justice Department say that this ruling has majorly blocked efforts to prosecute criminals.

“Under this opinion, hundreds if not thousands of investigations of crimes — ranging from terrorism, to child pornography, to fraud — are being or will be hampered by the government’s inability to obtain electronic evidence,” said Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall.

Because Microsoft stores data and communications closest to the user’s location, Wall said that the lower court’s decision made it all too easy for terrorists and other criminals to hide their communications by claiming to live in a foreign country when signing up for an account.

Microsoft argues that, instead of handing this decision over to the Supreme Court, legislators should update the 1986 law.

“The current laws were written for the era of the floppy disk, not the world of the cloud.” wrote Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith in a blog.

“We believe that rather than arguing over an old law in court, it is time for Congress to act by passing new legislation.”

In Congress, Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) are pushing for just such an update with a piece of legislation called the Stored Communications Act.

Microsoft further argued that allowing U.S. law enforcement to obtain data from other countries was an “incursion” on those nations’ sovereignty, which would make U.S. citizens more vulnerable to foreign governments.

“If U.S. law enforcement can obtain the emails of foreigners stored outside the United States, what’s to stop the government of another country from getting your emails even though they are located in the United States?” said Smith.

The Justice Department says that, along with Microsoft, Google, Verizon, and Yahoo have all stopped complying with search warrants since the lower court’s decision.

The Supreme Court will hear the case early in 2018 and hope to have a decision by June.

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