Similar to the design of Art Lebedev’s Optimus Popularis keyboard, Microsoft Applied Science’s prototype input device features a completely customizeable digital keycaps and a full-color touchscreen at the top.
The adaptive keyboard can automatically adjust images on the keyboard and touch panel to match the appropriate application context. So for instance, the top display could automatically show a ribbon-like interface for PowerPoint for editing chart types or flipping through thumbnails. In addition, the individual keys would contextually change match the available program icons, such as cut, copy, paste and spellcheck.
The prototype is backed by a single LCD display underlying the key caps and touchscreen, allowing for information to be displayed either under individual keys or across the entire background.
The prototype is available only through the 2010 UIST Student Innovation Contest at the ACM Symposium, in which Microsoft is encouraging student teams to produce innovative applications for the adaptive keyboard.