Meta, previously known as Facebook, has made strides in enhancing the accuracy of their virtual keyboard technology. This advancement involves affixing a sizable QR code onto a table surface. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, shared a firsthand demonstration on his Instagram account, showcasing a novel virtual keyboard capable of projection onto any flat area.
The demonstration video features Zuckerberg and Meta’s Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Bosworth, engaging in a typing competition while donning Quest 2 headsets. Their goal was to determine who could type faster using the virtual keyboard. In the test, Zuckerberg attained a speed of approximately 100 words per minute, while Bosworth outperformed with a count of 119 words within the same time frame.
To refine the accuracy of the virtual keyboard, a large QR code was applied to a table surface. Contestants utilized hand gestures to press buttons, mimicking the actions performed on a physical keyboard. Despite the existing technology in the realm of VR and AR keyboards, typing experiences often fall short in terms of accuracy and speed when compared to traditional PCs and smartphones. Floating keyboards necessitate users to move their hands in mid-air, lacking haptic feedback and proper wrist support.
Although developers can presently design virtual keyboards anchored to surfaces on Quest headsets via hand tracking, calibration requires users to tap the surface. Even minor disparities between the virtual and actual surface heights can result in erroneous keystrokes.
Meta has not disclosed their specific strategies to address this challenge. However, if they manage to create a virtual keyboard matching the dimensions of the QR code sticker, it could potentially revolutionize interactions and typing experiences while wearing VR headsets. Meta has also introduced an alternative typing method involving a sliding keyboard for Quest users. While this keyboard performs accurately with controlled hand movements, rapid hand motions lead to decreased precision. The company has additionally allowed users to pair certain models of physical keyboards with Quest headsets, though this approach necessitates carrying an extra device when on the move.