Please refer to our answers below to some of the common questions we have received about the unique '3D Electronic Perception Technology' and the 'Integrated Projection Keyboard'.
1. What is electronic perception technology?
Electronic perception technology permits machines, consumer and electronic devices, or virtually any other class of modern product to perceive and react to objects and individuals in real time, utilizing low-cost, high-performance, embedded sensors and software. Devices enabled with electronic perception technology collect and interpret three-dimensional images of nearby surroundings in real time, thereby enabling greater device functionality and performance. Celluon is the leading company for electronic perception technology, having filed for more than 11 patents.
2. What is Celluon's first application using electronic perception technology?
Celluon's first application incorporated with the electronic perception technology is a projected keyboard known as the Integrated Projection Keyboard. When an electronic device such as a PDA, Tablet PC, or smart phone is equipped with an Integrated Projection Keyboard, a tiny laser "pattern projector" projects the image of a full-sized keyboard onto a convenient flat surface between the device and the user, such as a tabletop or the side of a briefcase. The user can then type on this image and Celluon's electronic perception technology will instantly resolve the user's finger movements into ordinary serial keystroke data that is easily utilized by the wireless or mobile device. The Integrated Projection Keyboard is enabled by three miniaturized components that can be integrated into devices that would benefit from both keyboard and mouse functionalities, but is not able to contain a full-size mechanical keyboard.
3. What types of products would benefit from Celluon's projected keyboard?
Celluon's primary business model is to design and supply to device manufacturers the electronic components and software necessary to incorporate Celluon's electronic perception technology into their products. For the Integrated Projection Keyboard, Celluon will be providing the Projection Keyboard Perception Chipset to licensed device manufacturers. These companies will then determine their own product design, pricing, and launch timing. Celluon will not be marketing any products targeted directly to consumers.
4. What components are necessary to enable the Integrated Projection Keyboard?
The Integrated Projection Keyboard is enabled by three components that comprise the Projection Keyboard Perception Chipset:
The Chipset is designed to meet the stringent needs of device manufacturers. Their small size and low power requirements make them ideally suited for integration into portable devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and Tablet PCs. The Sensor Module and IR Light Source are the heart of the Projection Keyboard and are needed for all applications of the Projection Keyboard. The function of the Pattern Projector is to provide users with a visual representation of the keyboard so that they will know where to place their fingers when typing. Depending on the application, a manufacturer may use the Pattern Projector or an alternative method of presenting the keyboard layout (e.g. the keyboard pattern can be printed on the surface).
5. Does the Integrated Projection Keyboard work without the Pattern Projector?
Yes. The Pattern Projector is independent of the electronic perception technology that drives the Projection Keyboard. The purpose of the Pattern Projector is simply to indicate to the user where fingers should be placed when typing. Depending on the Projection Keyboard application, a manufacturer may choose to use an alternate method of highlighting the typing area (e.g., through a printed layout). Some of our customers are considering printing the keyboard pattern on a flat surface associated with their device, instead of using the Pattern Projector. This approach reduces the power draw of the Integrated Projection Keyboard, and decreases the number (and cost) of components that need to be purchased.
6. Can Projection Keyboard be customized for specific purposes?
Yes. Celluon supplies a special keyboard layout tool, the Celluon Layout Designer software, that allows you to design and test new layouts very quickly and easily (less than one hour depending on the design complexity). Layout Designer plugs into Microsoft Visio so that even non-technical personnel can create and test custom keyboard layouts. Once a manufacturer has determined the optimal layout for their product featuring the Integrated Projection Keyboard, Celluon's flexible manufacturing process allows for the new layout to then be integrated into Pattern Projectors shipped to the manufacturer. Typically, customization projects require NRE of approximately $40,000 USD.
7. Does Celluon's Sensor Module work with all operating systems and air standards?
Yes. All of the keystroke image processing is handled by the onboard processor of the Sensor
Module. The device simply receives keystroke information from the Integrated Projection Keyboard the same format
it receives keystroke data from a mechanical keyboard. The keystroke information can be sent via serial or USB.
Celluon provides an assortment of sample drivers as part of its prototyping program as well as documentation and sample code to help our partners quickly incorporate the Integrated Projection Keyboard into their products that run on alternative hardware and software platforms.
8. Does Celluon's Sensor Module require any processing power from the host processor?
No. All of the image processing is done by the Projection Keyboard Sensor Module so that no additional burden is placed on the host processor. The Sensor Module associates each keystroke or mouse movement with the associated keyboard or mouse functionality and outputs that information to the device as if it were coming from a mechanical keyboard or mouse.
9. Under what type of lighting conditions does the Integrated Projection Keyboard work?
The Integrated Projection Keyboard works well in all normal indoor lighting conditions. Keyboard performance suffers when used in direct sunlight due to IR interference.
10. Are there mechanical design requirements for Projection Keyboard?
Yes. There are specific angle and component location requirements that need to be addressed at the point of manufacture. Celluon's integration support team provides guidance in this area.
11. How much are Projection Keyboard components?
Celluon's pricing is volume-based and specific quotes are available once a dialogue has been established between Celluon and the OEM or device manufacturer.
12. What developer resources are available to companies interested in the Integrated Projection Keyboard?
Celluon offers the Projection Keyboard Prototyping Program to OEMs or device manufacturers that are considering developing a product with a Projection Keyboard. Program participants receive a package of developer tools that includes sample components and a demonstration and testing unit, an assortment of supporting software and documentation, as well as technical support to address questions regarding electrical, software or mechanical integration.
13. What is included with the Projection Keyboard Prototyping Program and what is the cost?
Companies enrolled in the Projection Keyboard Prototyping Program receive:
There is a $50,000 NRE charge to cover the costs associated with the components, tools, and technical support provided as part of the program.
14. How can device manufacturers get started with Celluon?
Celluon is currently working with a number of OEMs and device manufacturers in a wide variety of
markets. If you are a device manufacturer and would also like to investigate adding the Integrated Projection
Keyboard into your product(s), you can contact us by clicking
here. Please include enough (non-confidential)
information for us to understand your company and target device so that we can best answer your questions and
understand the market opportunities.
Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to inquiries from private individuals, and can only devote resources that provide a good fit between our technology and the product-marketing concept. Once a non-disclosure agreement is signed by both parties, component data sheets and a system design overview will be made available as the first step towards potential enrollment in the Prototyping Program. (See above.)