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A keyboard you can crumple and put in your pocket

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor July 25, 2018 12:30

A keyboard you can crumple and put in your pocket

Researchers in South Korea have used artificial intelligence (AI) to devise a flexible keyboard which can be crumpled like a paper and put in your pocket.
The keyboard was made from a flat sheet of Ecoflex silicone rubber, embedded with an ultra-soft piezo resistive patch.
Instead of placing conventional sensor arrays into flexible material, the research team led by Sohn Kee-sun from Sejong University, Sohn Kee-min from Chung-Ang University, and Kim Ji-sik from Kyungpook National University, trained the ‘keyboard’ using a deep learning method which turns the material into a tactile sensor device.
Pressure signals are gathered from the patch, which contains conducting carbon nanotubes.
When users press a ‘key’ drawn on the rubber surface, their finger pressure alters the nanotubes’ electrical resistance. The AI network helped teach the keyboard to identify individual characters according to the location of those resistance changes.
Existing flexible keyboards contain solid components inside, so users can only roll-up or fold as required, whereas this prototype can be completely crumpled.
The team says the keyboards could be mass-produced at just one U.S. dollar per unit, although the considerable wiring might put off some consumers.
The research, supported by National Research Foundation of Korea, was published in ACS Publications in July 2018.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor July 25, 2018 12:30