The ‘Vibrative’ iPhone Virtual Keyboard Uses Vibration to Detect Typing [Video]


There is no question that smartphones and tablets are at the stage where they can replace our laptops and desktops for a variety of tasks –at least as far as power and capability are concerned. When it comes to comfort and ease of use, especially when you need to do a lot of typing, the iPhone can fall a little short.

Of course, there are plenty of keyboard options out there (like the backlit keyboard case from, but they all require some kind of hardware to make it work, which means a certain amount of inconvenience. A new keyboard concept dubbed the Vibrative takes advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer in order to detect vibration and sense the location of your fingers while you are typing on a virtual keyboard.

In an interview with the Goldsmiths student responsible for the Vibrative:

“The signals I’m collecting are very weak,” said Florian Kraeutli. “At the moment it’s more of a proof of concept but if you made the accelerometer more sensitive you could improve the accuracy quite easily.”

If the product works at all, Kraeutli should be thinking of a price…because this is exactly the kind of technology Apple should be looking to purchase for use in future models of the iPhone and iPad.


  • Jeff

    That is absolutely brilliant. If any cell phone maker knows whats good for them, they’ll buy this, the patents, improve on it and then deploy

  • While this is a really cool tech demo, and I agree the technology is a brilliant idea conception-wise, when it comes to actually using this tech in the real world, I don’t see it being all too useful. You wouldn’t be able to use it in a vehicle (including a plane, train, bus, boat, etc.) and it would fail (or at least be less accurate) when sharing a table or desk with someone, or any time someone walked by you, as all of those things cause vibrations.

  • draz

    My fingers would start to hurt after all that hard tapping

  • einsteinbqat

    Was wondering when you guys were going to post this. Sent it on Twitter to Gary.

  • Thanks 🙂

  • It is a good idea but not so practical. What is there is something else interfering with vibration of the surfice? Maybe it can be isolated but again, I don’t thinkthat is practical. Laser or something all the way!

  • WestCoastStar

    I think it’s pretty cool. With some tweaking and hardware enhancements it can become very practicsl.

  • Mario

    Sorry but this is a technology of the french company Sensitive Object. This company was sold to Tyco Electronics in 2010.