Jason Giddings wants to build a touch keyboard and mouse built in glass--and it looks like he'll be able to meet his $50,000 goal.
As stunning as the design of the keyboard and mouse may be, it may even be more amazing that Giddings is using a fairly simple technology to make it work. He uses a technology called FTIR (Frustrated Total Internal Reflection). LEDs placed on the frame of the glass surface send infrared light through the glass, which is reflected to cameras built into the keyboard base. The cameras determines the location of the touch and sends the data to the computer. There is no information on how fast and accurate the process is; and there is no haptic feedback, so the user would have to look at a screen to see whether or not a key target has been hit.
As of Tuesday morning, Giddings had collected only $5000. By noon, the number had jumped to $36,700 and 150 people who are convinced that the idea is compelling enough to spend money on. 11 people gave $150 to receive a future touch mouse, 12 gave $250 to get a touch keyboard, 76 gave $350 to get both and 3 people gave $1200 to get prototype and production units.