total time since arriving in Sweden...
 seconds
% of my life 
rob
nero
interaction designer
"TRKBRD"

The TRKBRD (trackboard) design was inspired by never having enough room to use my favorite mouse while using my laptop at local cafes. The table was never big enough, which forced me to use the small trackpad built into my laptop. I felt there had to be a better way of providing cursor-control input to my portable computer. What if I combined the keyboard and the trackpad on the laptop, creating a large trackpad on top of the keyboard?

I used the open-source Arduino micro-controller platform to prototype my idea. By placing 110 light sensors and 2 lasers on top of the keyboard, and using some algebra, I was able to prototype the device. A person can type on the keyboard as they normally type, but if they gently glide their finger over the keys, your finger movement controls the cursor on the screen.

The TRKBRD design sparked some attention on various blogs: Arduino, Makezine, Engadget. I will be continuing the idea later for my final thesis.

Check out trkbrd.it for more information.

"TRKBRD: From Idea to Conception with Physical Prototyping" at IxDA Interaction '10 conference:

Final demonstration of prototype and interface to laptop: