air keyboard?

According to Handheld Computing Enterprise Weekly, and also reported in PC World, no less than three companies are working on "virtual keyboarding," to be released for the PDA later on this year. What "virtual keyboarding" means in its new definition is that you wear a device on your hands that interprets your finger movements (in mid-air, on the back of the airline seat in front of you in its upright and locked position, etc.) as if they were taps on a keyboard in front of you.
What absolutely amazed me is that both articles I read expressed concern that users would worry about looking "weird." Geez. My immediate reaction upon reading about the Samsung Scurry, for example, was: I must obtain this product RIGHT NOW.. After several years of walking down the street appearing to talk to myself (while actually using a cellular hands-free headset, of course), I have lost all possible self-consciousness about looking weird. Everyone around me is too preoccupied with their own problems anyway to notice me. And although I like my PDA's fold-up keyboard well enough, and tolerate Graffiti, I would leap at the chance to type more freely. Hey, dictating into the thing would be pretty special too.

My main concern about a virtual keyboard is whether it is trainable to my usual hand position, or whether I have to hold my hands in a certain way. I am hopelessly devoted to my Kinesis Classic Contoured Keyboard, which allows me to hold my hands in a natural position and has undoubtedly forestalled the onset of the otherwise inevitable case of repetitive stress injury from the amount of keyboarding I do (not to mention the castanet use). Note to folks in Puget Sound: Kinesis is headquartered, or was, in Kirkland, and you can buy refurbished units from the showroom for half the (considerable) cost of one of these things. If I have to hold my hands a certain way, there's not much advantage to a Scurry over the Stowaway, other than the Cool Factor, which admittedly fades. But if I can truly type with my hands in any position, why, I'm sold.

So if you see me walking down the street in Seattle, talking to myself and typing in the air, don't pity me. Admire me. I've figured out a way to make walking billable.

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