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Magic Cube projects a virtual keyboard on any flat surface

The device displays a full-size virtual keyboard and multitouch mouse that people can use with their smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
YouTube/Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Smartphone and tablet users who want a full-size keyboard without carrying one around may want to check out a device called the Magic Cube.

Demoed by manufacturer Celluon at CES this week, the Magic Cube displays a full keyboard and a multitouch mouse on just about any flat surface. The virtual keyboard and mouse appear as red, illuminated projections on the surface. An optical sensor detects the position of your fingers to determine which keys you're pressing and how you're moving the mouse.

The Magic Cube can use Bluetooth to pair with your mobile device or USB to connect with a Windows or Mac computer. The device is compatible with iOS 4 or higher, Android 2.2 or higher, Mac OS 10 or higher, and all versions of Windows from XP to 7. The cube itself is compact, certainly easier to carry than lugging around a physical keyboard and mouse.

Of course, like any projected keyboard, the Magic Cube lacks the tactile feel of a physical keyboard. But the device does emit a clicking sound each time you press a key, so at least you can hear your typing. A columnist from 9to5Mac who tried the cube was impressed with its accuracy, citing only one typo out of 100 words.

The Magic Cube sells for $149 directly through Celluon and for $115 through Amazon, where so far it's garnered 3.9 stars out of 5.

(Via 9to5Mac)