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Old January 18, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Default Kitchen-puter

I have been wanting to create a kitchen-puter for a few years, currently we are putting the finishing touches on our first home and I have been working with the problem of what do you use for input. Touch screens don't work in a kitchen because you would get the screen all greasy with finger smudges. Keyboards and mice don't work well because you would start giving the family saminalia everytime you used it while pulling up recipes.

I forget now when I saw this originally but someone in the early 2000's came out with a laser projected keyboard. I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate one of these into the counter so who ever was in the kitchen could call up recipes with even the nastiest chicken muck fingers. Up until a year ago I have never owned my own countertop to do this project with.

Enter the Magic Cube from Celluon. This small little projection keyboard is going to be the heart of my kitchen-puter concept. Using the keyboard so far takes a little getting used to, but it does work well once you adjust for these differences from a normal keyboard.

Things I have noticed so far;

1) You have to "peck" the keyboard. You can peck quickly but you do have to type more up and down vs the nice palm rest typing you would have on a normal keyboard.

2) You have to type at the bottom of each key instead of hitting the middle of the projected key. I beleave this is more of a calibration issue, because if you type at the bottom it works perfectly.

3) Multi-touch has some limitations, for instance if you push the left shift and the 2 to make a @ symbol it will not work because you finger on the shift is not picked up by the sensor.

These are the three things I have noticed so far while quickly using the keyboard with my tablet. The keyboard is well made, and I think it will work well for what I have planned for it. My wife is excited and thinks the keyboard is nuts(lasers impress everyone). I don't think the keyboard is worth the asking price, but they are the only ones making a projected keyboard so I was stuck paying for it.

I am currently finding spare bits to put a PC together in the kitchen. To start off with it will be a spare atom I have kicking around, if it works well I will probably look at a entry level AMD APU of somesort so we can watch TV while working in the kitchen.

I will post some pictures of the Magic Cube when I charge my camera up and have some spare time.
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Old January 18, 2012, 01:42 PM
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I'm very interested in this.

I think you have a good plan.I look forward to seeing how this pans out.......my kitchen needs work too.....

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Old January 18, 2012, 07:26 PM
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I will do the same thing, but I'll just use a touch screen from ELO, I think. They've been used in restaurants forever....
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Old January 18, 2012, 08:04 PM
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why not just find a way of stretching a layer of cellophane over the keyboard and just replace it when you're done cooking or you feel it needs changing?
those projector keyboards, while being a neat concept, have never worked too well.
or you could go with a touchscreen with a clear plastic cover on it that won't interfere with the functionality but can be removed to be washed or replaced.
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Old January 19, 2012, 08:04 AM
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Having used the keyboard with my tablet for a couple of days now, I can scratch one issue off the list. Point 2 only happens when there is a slight variation in the surface(hardwood flooring). I have not done a typing test but I would say I am currently 30% slower typing on it then my main keyboard, and most of that is getting used to tapping a hard surface. its quick and responsive. The big question is if when in the kitchen swapping back and forth from keyboard to mouse functions work in a everyday sense... I don't see it being an issue since it will mostly be used to pull up recipes or put on some sort of media.

I have thought of using one of those washable keyboards, but have you used one of those??? I can tell you from experience this projected keyboard works 100x better then those rubber boards. I have decided on the projected keyboard for practical reasons.

- You have a smooth surface that you wipe down anyways when in the kitchen, and will try to incorporate it, or a spot for it into my back splash.
- when you are done using it, it disappears. You don't have to hide/put away a keyboard and mouse(this thing has a built in mouse feature as well)
- Those touch screens could take the abuse as they are made for restaurants, but next time your in a place with one... look at it. even the ones used by the waitresses who I would think have cleaner hands then the cooks look dirty.
- I am not going to ghetto up my kitchen with a cellophane keyboard. (though not a practical reason, still makes it onto my list because I feel that its that important to include, sorry bissa)
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Old January 19, 2012, 08:39 AM
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Really Cool Keyboard
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Old January 19, 2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoanee View Post
that is neat. if you were to get the really cool touch keyboard then you could do away with the mouse and it would be quite effective.
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Old January 19, 2012, 03:14 PM
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it's not cellophane you want to use anyway... it's the stuff you use for making a paper sign water proof. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the stuff but you can buy it at Staples. Cheap and protects any screen.
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Old January 25, 2012, 08:55 PM
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I went to put my spare atom board into a M350 case and the damn thing is a inch to long(that's what I get for planning a system on parts I have not looked at in a year)... its not a real ITX board I guess.... Oh well, I am currently looking at a ASRock A75M-ITX and a AMD A4-3400. I am on the fence if I should get the 3400 or the A6-3500 both are the same price. With casual media viewing and recipe pulls I am thinking the higher clocked 3400 dual core would be better then the triple core slower clock.

What do people think, A4-3400 or A6-3500?

Need to stay within 65 watts so higher APUs are not an option, for both heat and power restraints.
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Old January 30, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Don't most ppl look up a recipe before they start cooking/getting their hands dirty?

I like the idea, but if it was me i'd buy a laptop.
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