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Author Topic: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review  (Read 5919 times)

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Donkey_Kong

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Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« on: November 16, 2006, 02:07:28 pm »
THIS 1st POST HAS BEEN COMPLETELY EDITED NOW FOR MY REVIEW OF THE NEW...

Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard

This thing becomes more and more unreliable by the day. I'm to the point now where I CANNOT get it to work 99.5% of the time. It may be because of my cheap Bluetooth adapter 2.99 on Ebay...but I'm not sure. I'm gonna spend some time trouble shooting before I totally write this thing off, just wanted to let you all know!!

Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard on my Cab Control Panel PROS...
~lightweight, small and almost non-exsistent when turned off.
~Rechargeable internal battery that lasts like 2 hours of continuous typing.
~Can just leave unit plugged in. (Optional)
~Power saver modes for when not plugged in.
~Doesn't look bad mounted on CP when turned off. Kinda like...(What is that black thing?)
~Pretty good Wow factor for company

Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard on my Cab Control Panel CONS ...
~Actually makes ur control panel kinda franken-stineish (only when it is on.) Becomes focal point when lit up.
~A tad unreliable especially when you 1st turn it on, which is almost everytime you go to use it. (It takes a few seconds for the Bluetooth to pick it up)
~No key feel when typing. You always have to be staring at the keys to know what ur hitting.
~Always find myself turning it on and off (kind of annoying)
~No F buttons at all.
~COST!! $150 + Bluetooth Adapter $8-$10 at least.

NOTES:
Was pretty cool playing games and using the space bar (err thin air) as the jump button. Don't buy one of these if you think it will make stuff look cool, it is like it looks cooler in pictures than real life or something. However, it looks way better when the room is dark vs. lights being on or during the daytime. I still feel I made the right decision springing for the VBK because it is kinda neat and damn...the footprint measures 1" x 1-1/2". I guess I don't want my new game to be cluttered with a big ole traditional keyboard. Yea, I really don't want it to be that at all. The only way it could be better is if I never needed no keyboard at all. Yea, it is a bit of a miss on my purely pinewood themed cab to have this lazer light show going on on the CP. It would probably fit BETTER with like say alot of the other cabs thta I have seen on BYOAC.


That's all I have for now. I will update if I learn more or something changes.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 11:11:43 am by Donkey_Kong »
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javeryh

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2006, 02:50:54 pm »
Wow cool!  Does it actually work?  How much was it?

Donkey_Kong

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2006, 03:09:09 pm »
I know it works awesome for two reasons...
1. All online reviews have been stellar (Amazon, Ebay)
2. It makes little clicking sounds to confirm signal everytime you clik a key.

My problem is that I don't have that bluetooth on my cab computer. I will need to figure that out. Any Bluetooth guru's in here? My cab doesn't even have a wireless card, if I added a wireless card will it pick up this Bluetooth device? If that doesn't work I know where there is a virtual keyboard for sale.

I had to splerge somewhere on my cab. Price is a cool $150 on ebay...I scored mine for $140 shipped though. Yea $140 for a KEYBOARD!! :o

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2006, 03:30:21 pm »

Donkey_Kong

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2006, 03:52:53 pm »
Done deal then as I was planning to buy something similar to that "usb bluetooth adapter" anyway! Saweet! Gotta get me that bluetooth adapter and then let the virtual typing commence!!

You could totally use that keyboard for virtual game buttons...but you wouldn't get the whole button feel and spring feedback though. Will have to try it anyway...

JMB- Thanks for the tip. Much appreciated!
« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 04:20:54 pm by Donkey_Kong »
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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2006, 04:04:44 pm »
That is damn awesome. I thought about getting one for the Nexus, but I already had a wireless keyboard/mouse that is in the closet unless I need it for anything. Maybe my next futuristic cab.. . Hmmm

GT

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2006, 04:21:07 pm »
I was always skeptical about how that keyboard could possibly work, given that the sensor is at such an angle from the keys.  I would think that it might not pick up some keypresses if the top part of your hand is blocking the fingers behind the pressing a key.  Please let us know how well it works.

Donkey_Kong

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2006, 04:26:27 pm »
I was always skeptical about how that keyboard could possibly work, given that the sensor is at such an angle from the keys.  I would think that it might not pick up some keypresses if the top part of your hand is blocking the fingers behind the pressing a key.  Please let us know how well it works.

Will definately let you know how well it performs but I gotta say this going in...Being it is for my cab I justified the expense for the space saving qualities, coolness & innovation. I'm not particularly worried what my WPM will be as I'm a slow pecker type anyway.

Sensors: There are two, one high and one low. The low one does most of the key press reporting I believe. So cool man. I don't even have it working 100% and I love the thing. Ridiculous, I know. Right now all I can get out of it is turn it on a listen to little virtual key clicks. Just by doing that though you can tell the report is "right now" clik clikc lclicklcikck clikclcickclciick
 
Here, these guys will explain it better...
http://www.virtual-laser-keyboard.com/

:laugh2: 
« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 09:59:32 pm by Donkey_Kong »
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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2006, 02:52:49 am »
That thing's awesome. I just don't think I could justify the price, though.

Name-brand Bluetooth USB adapters are usually in the $40-50 range in standard retail stores. Cheap asian ones go for like $12 with shipping on eBay. My Kensington one works flawlessly on both my Mac and now with a Microsoft keyboard and mouse for my WinXP MAME cabinet. The only downside is that the drivers load with Windows, so if you ever want to make BIOS changes, you'll have to physically hook up another keyboard.

Another nifty thing I found about Bluetooth is that once it's set up, I can synch my address book with the cell phone that's in my backpack in the next room. Wireless stuff is cool, but it's hard to beat wireless WITH LASERS.  :)
Brevity is not my strong suit.

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2006, 09:00:10 am »
Quote from: Donkey_Kong link=topic=60221.msg595490#msg595490 date=1163712387.. I'm a slow pecker type anyway.
[/quote

 :laugh2:

That does look cool.  Way too costly for me but pretty cool looking.

Donkey_Kong

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2006, 10:13:52 am »
Name-brand Bluetooth USB adapters are usually in the $40-50 range in standard retail stores. Cheap asian ones go for like $12 with shipping on eBay. My Kensington one works flawlessly on both my Mac and now with a Microsoft keyboard and mouse for my WinXP MAME cabinet. The only downside is that the drivers load with Windows, so if you ever want to make BIOS changes, you'll have to physically hook up another keyboard.

Another nifty thing I found about Bluetooth is that once it's set up, I can synch my address book with the cell phone that's in my backpack in the next room. Wireless stuff is cool, but it's hard to beat wireless WITH LASERS.  :)

I ended up starting with a cheap Asian USB Bluetooth adapter from Ebay. Will let you know how that works out. I have 1 more question about this bluetooth adapter though...Will I be able to pick up internet from my wireless router from this thing?

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2006, 10:21:50 am »

Not unless your router is also bluetooth, which isn't likely.  Bluetooth is more about PDAs, phones, peripheral devices.  It is designed for short range low bandwidth use.

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2006, 03:05:44 am »
Very cool. But it looks kind of blurry compared to promotional shots. Is that just the camera, the CP, or does it really not look as good as they show?

I can't wait to see the first phone that has one of these built-in.
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Donkey_Kong

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2006, 09:30:25 am »
Very cool. But it looks kind of blurry compared to promotional shots. Is that just the camera, the CP, or does it really not look as good as they show?

I can't wait to see the first phone that has one of these built-in.

My picture makes it look blurry. It is actually just as sharp as the promotional shots. This would be cool for a phone. It is actually geared more toward the phones and pda's I suppose, but I'm still liking the idea for my cab as it will be somewhat of a media station at times and of course performing light admin duties.
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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2006, 10:37:44 am »

It's certainly cool.  I'd have gone with a standard low end wireless keyboard that I could stash inside the cab until needed... but you can't beat that red image.

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2006, 12:24:57 pm »
Despite the fact that they may use the same 2.4gHz frequency, Bluetooth is a very different standard than wireless networking. Pretty much think of Bluetooth as a wireless USB cable. It's usually used for input devices and communication with mobile devices like cell phones, PDAs, and even digital cameras.

In other words-- what Chad said.  :)
Brevity is not my strong suit.

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2006, 11:49:52 am »
BUMP!!

WARNING:  Having BIG TIME problems getting this thing to WORK!!

As if anyone at BYOAC is half the sucker that I am to buy something like this  :censored: !  However, just in case there is...HOLD ON!! I'm having problems with this thing already and it is becoming more of a pain than anything else. Will post results if I get it workign better but for now its a lemon.

You have been warned...
« Last Edit: December 16, 2006, 12:54:50 pm by Donkey_Kong »
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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2006, 03:09:37 pm »

Maybe because you're projecting it on a surface with too much variation?  Try it on something really white like a wall or a counter.

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2006, 03:57:22 pm »
What is the problem with it, getting it to connect to the computer or making it register keystrokes?

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2006, 04:09:39 pm »
So its literally a "bling" item then after long term testing?
As pretty and techo as it is I can help thinking its a lot of money for occassional keyboard use personally.
CP mounted usb port out of sight somewhere and plug any old keyboard in gets my vote, leaving me 80-100 back in my pocket for other things.

Dont get me wrong, its a damn sexy bit of kit but I think its most useful as a portable addon to a PDA or similar where portability is key.

Bluetooth can be a little hit and miss on a PC for some unknown reason. Highly dependant on the bluetooth stack you are using and which adapter. Can highly recommend IVT BlueSoleil which came with my adapter, it seems to be the best of the ones I have tried.


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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard for Cabs 1" footprint!
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2006, 04:36:52 pm »

Maybe because you're projecting it on a surface with too much variation?  Try it on something really white like a wall or a counter.

Thanks Chad! Will give this a try.

What is the problem with it, getting it to connect to the computer or making it register keystrokes?
Keystrokes are not the issue because it always picks up the strokes GREAT! (You can hear the clicks) Problem is getting it to communicate with the Computer consistently or AT ALL for that matter.

Bluetooth can be a little hit and miss on a PC for some unknown reason. Highly dependant on the bluetooth stack you are using and which adapter. Can highly recommend IVT BlueSoleil which came with my adapter, it seems to be the best of the ones I have tried.

Bobbler- At this point it would be literal bling that has failed horribly. However, Since I'm down $140 on this already, I can't give up just like that. I have to think that it has to do with my Bluetooth adapter which you have also indicated. In a way this is good but how much MORE do I have to spend for a better adapter? $40-$50 or more? This sucker is getting spendy. I do still like it if it WORKS though.

I'm doing NEW Control Panel,and knowing if this VBK is dead or not has a profound affect on the design of my new CP. If I use the keyboard I need an 8" X12" wide open space for it at the TOP edge of my new CP. No virtual keyboard will equal MUCH MORE freedom of design, but regretfully a new keyboard solution.  Luckily right now I'm getting by with the Screen Keyboard that is accesed via my Ipac utility. Is this keyboard a basic windows feature or os this kinda exclusive to Andy's Ipac utility? If so that rocks! Unless you are playing MAME in a WINDOW though, the on screen keyboard won't serve you within a MAME game.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2006, 06:13:06 pm by Donkey_Kong »
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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2006, 06:14:42 pm »
I see what you are saying Donkey_Kong, can't really advise on which bluetooth adapter to get really. I just walked into Maplins and it was in the bargain bin at 10, lucky really, the first one I bought would drop connection to my phone all the time and had a range of about 1cm LOL. It has no name or anything on it that I can identify, but here's some pictures.
The first one I bought looks like this one - http://www.maplin.co.uk/images/full/a38fh_1.jpg and was nothing short of uselss.
2nd one was this one - http://www.maplin.co.uk/images/full/46067i0.jpg which works brilliantly and I still use it with my laptop even though it has built in bluetooth as the adapter is far better and does the extra profiles like headphones and stuff which the laptop one doesnt.

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2006, 06:22:11 pm »
Thanks! I really have no choice but to keep going deeper with this thing and giving it one more shot. I will buy a better Bluetooth adapter...Give it a shot and report back when I have done so. Thanks for the links Bobbler! Everybody else appreciate it as well.

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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2006, 07:26:49 pm »
the on screen keyboard is a windows feature outside of Ipac util. Just hit Start > Run and then type "osk" without the quotes.


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Re: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard...Now, The Review
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2006, 10:28:33 pm »
It's certainly cool.  I'd have gone with a standard low end wireless keyboard that I could stash inside the cab until needed... but you can't beat that red image.

Um, purple (or blue) would kick ass.  As for a general address to having a keyboard, I was thinking of getting a mini and holstering it sorta on the side, like a light gun.  (If you also wanted a mouse, you could make a little board and mount a touch pad along with the mini.)