Siemens and VKB have created a virtual keyboard, aimed at users tired of thumbing in text messages on their mobile phones, or struggling with the stylus on their PDAs.
A small device, developed in Israel by US-based VKB, it can project a nearly full-sized keyboard onto any flat surface, and uses an infrared system to sense what the user is typing, Siemens says.
"This is very useful for people who travel a lot and use a PDA or a mobile phone on the road. For typing in a long text while on a plane or train, for example," says Monika Winkler, spokeswoman for Siemens Procurement and Logistics Services.
Siemens first demonstrated the virtual keyboard at the CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover, Germany, earlier this year. It will be the first distributor of the virtual keyboard in the world and is looking at building the technology into its mobile phones and handheld computers, Winkler says.
The street price of a virtual keyboard should be between 90 and 150 Euros (between around £55 and £95), the company claims.
First deliveries to retailers around Europe are planned for the second half of the year.