Once I wrote about Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Nokia 770. Here is another “laser-based” device – Virtual Piano. Using a red semiconductor laser module and holographic optical element, the device projects a 25-key 2-octave keyboard (a virtual 88-key grand piano can be created by increasing the size of the device.) onto the surface in front of it. The surface shouldn’t be black because it absorbs the light. A CMOS camera module and infrared (invisible) red semiconductor laser module detect which keys are touched, and the corresponding notes are emitted from speakers built into the device.
The keyboard has 3 other voices in addition to piano â€” organ, pipe organ and harpsichord. It is scheduled for release in Japan in November 2006 and is expected to cost around 15,000 yen (US$130).
The box-shaped device is extremely compact: measures about 10 x 3 x 3 cm and weighs about 100 grams.