Most Millenials will agree with us when we say that none of the smartphones offered that speed and quality of typing that that good old Blackberry did. At the risk of sounding like Boomers, we can safely say that it is difficult to type emails with the limited size of the keyboard on mobile phones, irrespective of the size of the emails. At CES 2020, Samsung has attempted to solve this problem and has introduced ‘SelfieType’ — a virtual laptop-like keyboard for the users’ mobile phone.
If one takes a look at these SelfieType keyboard’s operation, one gets the impression that it might like those virtual keyboards projected on your desk that are way too slow and have very low accuracy. But, SelfieType isn’t anything like it.
Samsung’s SelfieType project comes from Samsung’s C-Lab project that uses only two things — a virtual keyboard AI algorithm and a selfie camera. The user needs to start the app and start typing on a surface. The phone has to be facing front so that the propriety AI engine can monitor hands’ position and interpret them into words. SelfieType might sound similar to the Gboard’s sliding keyboard only in the prediction aspect, where one doesn’t need to touch all the letters of the word for typing because the AI predicts it.
SelfieType Keyboard, Not For Everyone
No, as you can’t see the keyboard on the table, much of what you type is from memory, so, this ‘SelfieType’ isn’t the keyboard for everyone. The general audience who use the keyboard for searching or social media reasons will find it hard to operate. Nonetheless, this, if the accuracy of this keyboard is exactly like Samsung claims it to be, might be boon for skilled touch-typists or the ones who type long documents. If you need to type a long important email on the road, fire up the ‘SelfieType’.
The idea of an invisible keyboard has been explored in the past, but not on other surfaces; however, these invisible keyboards were studied to save some virtual keyboard space on mobile phones.
Samsung’s Cutting Edge Projects
C-lab, being an in-house idea by Samsung incubation program, encourages innovative ideas from Samsung employees. This incubation started in 2012 and marking its 5th year at CES it has introduced many other products in addition to SelfieType.
C-Lab Inside Projects:
These projects include the ideas from inside the Samsung network, which also includes SelfieType.
Let’s take a look at some other projects introduced by Samsung at CES 2020.
Hyler is a smart highlighter, that digitises texts from paper onto one’s mobile phones. One can scan or collect the information from a paper document and manage it with an app on the phone. When the individual uses ‘search mode’ in Hyler, it gives out many search results of the highlighted texts based on various search engine and dictionaries linked to Hyler.
Becon is a scalp analysis tool, which analyses one’s scalp and recommends a solution. Becon is a home-care service that has been developed to analyse real-time conditions of a scalp such as density, dead skin, sensitivity, temperature, humidity etc.
SunnySide will be responsible for producing sunlight at one’s home. SunnySide is a window-shaping lighting device that provides artificial sunlight, and it makes it possible for the users to have the joy of experiencing sunlight, that changes by the hour, by copying the full spectrum of actual sunlight. This device can be easily fitted onto a picture frame.
- Ultra V
With Ultra V sensors, users can manage and monitor their skin conditions and Vitamin D content by recording ultraviolet rays on a daily basis. These sensors can be fitted inside a Fitbit, or any other fitness watches to know how much sun one takes in when they for that morning jog.
C-Lab Outside Startups.
The ideas presented here are from outside the Samsung network. These ideas are from various startups selected by Samsung.
Circulus’s humanoid robot is called piBO. Circulus showcased this humanoid robot at CES in Samsung’s C-Lab outside startups sphere. This robot provides guidance services such as simple conversations, news, weather information and search information, and also interacts with users using facial recognition.
FITT is a personal health record data platform that is based on exercise tests and is aimed at providing three types of exercise tests like cardiorespiratory, posture, and muscle strength. Based on the results from these tests, the users will get personalised exercise programs and predict major physical health issues.
Vtouch is another startup that uses its patented computer vision and deep learning technologies to let user control devices without using any physical touch, which is done by tracking the user’s fingertips and eyes. This technology can be applied to various industries like smart cars and smart homes where you need to control many devices.
Lastly, Smoothy is a video call app like any other, video call app, only more fun. Smoothy helps its users to create their own avatar, which is an AR emoji that can mimic your expressions in real-time while the video call is going on. This video calling app can support around eight people which makes the group chat even more fun.
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Sameer is an aspiring Content Writer. Occasionally writes poems, loves food and is head over heels with Basketball.