Microsoft's pressure-sensitive keyboard gets some apps

When we first mentioned Microsoft’s new keyboard idea, it was mentioned that there would be a contest, and students all over the place would be competing to create the coolest applications for the device. Well, the contest is over and the winners have been announced. So if you were thinking of entering, too bad. You’ll have to wait for the multi-touch mouse contest.

So they had three categories: most useful, best implementation, and most creative. Remember, these are just demos made by students, so forgive their lack of polish. The demos, I mean, not the students.

Most Useful

This biometric password thing took top honors. It detects not only the letters and numbers in your password, but how hard you press them, whether you press them together, and so on. Quite a good idea, if it works. I’d hate to be locked out of my computer because I can’t seem to get the cadence of my password right.

Best Implementation

I don’t know what to make of this fellow’s dress, but the app is pretty handy. Or footy. By checking the different pressures exerted on keys pressed at the same time, it lets you type with your feet or elbows — useful for those of us who… I don’t know. I guess it’s not that useful, or it would have won Most Useful, right? I remember playing NES like this. TMNT2: The Arcade Game, and it really wasn’t that hard until you got to the bosses (you have to jump kick).

Most Creative

This is a good idea, but it looks like it would take a lot of tweaking. By using a bunch of little magnets and one big one, you can depress the keys’ sensors depending on the position of the larger magnet, essentially making a multi-touch midair trackpad. Very cool, but it’d take a lot of work to get useful.

Well, great work guys. I wouldn’t have thought of any of these, or if I did, I sure wouldn’t know how to make any of them work. With any luck we’ll see some of these in desktop form once the pressure-sensitive keyboard comes to the public.

If you’re interested, you can see a bunch more applications, with video, here at the contest site.

[via Gadget Venue]