This R2-D2 Doesn't Project Princess Leia - He Projects A Keyboard

Illustration for article titled This R2-D2 Doesn't Project Princess Leia - He Projects A Keyboard

Projected Keyboards have been around for a very long time, and yet they still have the 'It's the fuuutuuuure' vibe for me even though I realise they're probably not the most practical solution. The practical side of my brain shuts off when it's R2-D2 projecting the keyboard though!


This snazzy little Astromech has been out for a while in Japan, but is coming to the US this month. R2 uses bluetooth to connect with a variety of devices, and plays the customary beeps and whistles when you switch him off and on. The virtual keyboard also makes suitably Star Wars-y noises when you type with it too:

Doesn't really beat the nice clickity-clack of a keyboard, but it's something. I dunno, it just seems like a weird thing to type with, almost like a touchscreen keyboard but with even less feedback. But it's still a Keyboard made out of lasers! It's such a cool dumb idea I can't help but love it, especially in R2-D2 form.

Unfortunately, the logical part of my brain takes over once again when you get to the price - you can pre-order this bad boy ready for its arrival this month, for the price of $300. Nope, sorry virtual R2 keyboard, no dice.


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Does anyone know why these never caught on (the non-R2D2 ones, I mean)...?

It seems like if they worked well, they'd be a vast improvement over almost any situation where a full-size keyboard was impractical.

You could run a conference-room presentation from your phone with one of these — seems like a killer-app level device, no?

And I seem to remember seeing ones as low as $129 bucks or so years ago when they first came out, they must be even cheaper now. So what's the catch?

(The main drawback I see with this one is that it's way too big, even compared with older models. If you wanted to carry around something bulky, you'd just bring the keyboard. I wonder if most of that R2-D2 is just empty plastic for no reason...)