Excellence in Product Design and Development
Occasionally, a company will introduce a new technology that is perceived to have a "Wow" factor. Canesta's new virtual keyboard is a technology with definite "Wow" factor. The Canesta Keyboard is the world's first projection keyboard capable of being fully integrated into a PDA, mobile phone, hybrid PDA/phone or other hand held wireless device. The Canesta Keyboard is comprised of three tiny modules which work in conjunction with each other optically to create a full functioning, magical keyboard.
The Canesta Keyboard, when integrated into a hand held device such as a cell phone or PDA, projects a red laser image of a QWERTY (typing) keyboard onto a flat surface (table top, desk top or other convenient surface) and allows the user to enter data into the device by simply typing upon the projected image. Canesta's patented "Electronic Perception Technology" is able to see what is being typed and enters the data into the device.
The three tiny modules are: a Projector Module, measuring 9 x 9 x 12 mm, that projects a red laser image of the keyboard onto a flat surface; a Light Source Module, measuring 6.4 mm diameter x 11 mm long, which projects an invisible thin beam of Infrared Light across the keyboard image; and a Sensor Module, measuring 9 x 9 x 7.6 mm, which can see with depth perception and can determined what key strokes are being typed.
IDE was retained by Canesta to help develop this new breakthrough technology into a viable, user friendly, manufacturable OEM product. IDE provided Canesta with industrial design, mechanical design and engineering, and precision prototype manufacturing services. IDE's involvement began early with the mechanical layout and packaging of the first optics designs. IDE engineers worked closely with Canesta's electronics, optics and IC engineers to create Canesta's first generation Application Test Bed development tool (ATB1) which included the mechanical design of the first generation Projector Module and IR Light Source. The ATB1 incorporated an integral laminate typing surface and was used by Canesta and Canesta's customers to develop software for the Canesta Keyboard.
IDE worked interactively with Canesta's development team to define the packaging parameters for the printed circuit boards and first generation electro-optical components. This included custom optical mounting designs to insure proper alignment of the first generation of opto-electronics. IDE also manufactured and pre-assembled twenty-five ATB1 development kits which were shipped to Canesta for final assembly and calibration. The ATB1 parts were tooled, molded and/or CNC machined in IDE's Scotts Valley prototype manufacturing facility.
Once the design and mechanical engineering of the ATB1 product was completed, IDE's design team began the design and mechanical engineering of the next generation Canesta Application Test Bed (ATB2). IDE provided the industrial design and mechanical design and engineering for the ATB2, a PDA sized development tool which integrates the miniaturized Canesta Keyboard modules. IDE's design team also provided the mechanical design and engineering for the miniature Projector Module which projects the keyboard image onto the typing surface.
The design goals for the Canesta ATB2 was to create a small form factor device that would visually connote the essence of a hand held PDA class product. Following initial design research and brainstorming, IDE's industrial design team created several distinct product concepts for the ATB2. The initial concepts were evaluated by Canesta and a direction was selected.
IDE's designers then began the design refinement while IDE's mechanical engineers began the concurrent development of the electro-optical packaging, again working interactively with Canesta's development team. Canesta's very aggressive development schedule required that the industrial design and mechanical design be executed in parallel.
As the ATB2 design was in process, IDE's mechanical engineering team worked closely with Canesta's engineering team to complete the detailed design and engineering of the Canesta Projector Module which was packaged inside the ATB2 unit along with the IR Light Source Module and the Sensor Module.
IDE's prototype manufacturing facility was once again utilized to manufacture several development runs of high tolerance Projector Module components with machining tolerances of 25 microns or less. IDE's prototype manufacturing facility also manufactured thirty-five pre-assembled ATB2 enclosure kits and assisted Canesta in their assembly and final calibration.
Canesta's technology was successfully incorporated into a consumer product by Celluon Inc., a Korean company renowned for it's technological prowess. Celluon is highly involved in research and development, as well as the manufacturing of the projection keyboard module and final products using 3D Electronic Perception Technology (EPT).
Through the integration of Canesta's unique technology, Celluon answers the needs of today's highly mobile society. The projection keyboard resolves the "missing link" with mobile and wireless devices - the ability to do "true data input". The projection keyboard means that the mobile or wireless device can now support applications that previously would have only been practical with a full-sized mechanical keyboard. The device was voted the "Best Product: Peripheral Category" at Retail Vision 2006, a conference and tradeshow that brings together manufacturers and North america's top 100 retailers. It was also one of the top 5 nominees for the "Best New Technology" award.
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