I am aware that there is most likely to be a much simpler implementation of this as part of WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) but this article shows you how to make a reflective glass effect (similar to that used throughout itunes) using GDI library only (in c#).
The Dynamic Keyboard shown in the video is still a protoype but looks very cool. Using the specialist drivers and software bundled with the keyboard, each key’s “letter” or “symbol” can be completely manipulated, made possible by the LCD screen on the surface of each key. This is implemented by creating keyboard “Layers” within the software and assigning them per application. So for instance you may have one keyboard layout for Photoshop, one for Visual Studio, another for Half Life and so on.
Although it does not demonstrate how in the video, I am assuming that you can create logic to change key patterns and combinations dynamically, for example while holding shift in Word, the letter keys change to their specific functions (c = copy, v = paste etc). This type of adaptive keyboard can also be used to display dynamic data on un-used keys. For instance the number of Unread mail in your Gmail inbox, or perhaps your remaining HDD space ( a similar idea to the minature displays bein manufactured on the front of some laptops). Some of these ideas could be usefull, others pointless.
Who will use the device?
The main areas I can see this being adopted are….
- The Design industry (Where Designers utilise many keyboard shortuts across many packages to increase productivity).
- The Gamer (Who would appreciate the developer of the title packaging a specific keyboard “layer” with their game to make finding that all important rocket launcher much easier!!).
- In a multilingual environment where people of different nationalities and languages share the same input device (perhaps in an airport or other public place).