Clove Technology Blog - News
Samsung’s ‘Selfie Type’; Everything You Need to Know
- 21 Jan, 2020
What is Selfie Type?
Selfie Type was first introduced at CES 2020 after being developed within Samsung’s C-Lab programme. This is a type of ‘virtual keyboard’ that utilises the front camera to track movements of your fingers, which are then interpreted into typing inputs.
All that’s required is propping up your device in landscape as if it were a display, loading the app and touch typing on a nearby surface as though there were a keyboard there.
Clearly Selfie Type is not a necessity to modern life, however as smartphone performance improves, many users are now utilising their trusty device to manage emails and create documents.
Constructing large chunks of text on a small keyboard is not always the easiest task. So too, whilst Bluetooth keyboards give for added functionality, it is not always practical to carry an additional piece of hardware around.
As such, Selfie Type theoretically solves this issue in providing a larger typing experience without the need for an additional piece of hardware.
How does Selfie Type work?
The success of Selfie Type rests on two key components; an RGB, front-facing camera and Samsung’s proprietary Selfie Type AI technology.
Through the front camera, this AI engine is able to track and analyse finger movements as they type out letters and words on a flat surface. Using hand and finger position to determine which letters are being ‘pressed’, AI tech works to convert these movements into QWERTY inputs on your device.
Since all that is required is a camera, you won’t need to purchase or carry any additional accessories in order to use this feature. This similarly makes it hugely adaptable to other similar devices such as tablets.
Other virtual keyboards have tended to rely upon laser projection and haven’t seen great success as they are too unreliable to work at speed. Selfie Type detaches from this as it tracks the physical movement of fingers, rather than analysing where is being touched by a finger.
Are there any problems with Selfie Type?
First and foremost, Selfie Type requires the ability to touch type by necessity.
Since there is no physical keyboard or a holographic-type image, there is not the ability to see precisely which key it is that is being pressed. As such, a user that might struggle to type without physically looking at the keyboard will not see any benefits from Selfie Type.
So too, there could be issues in the way that Samsung’s AI tech actually tracks these small movements. We are yet to trial Selfie Type; however, it can be assumed that hands must kept in one place for everything to work effectively.
The Future of Selfie Type
It’s been suggested that Selfie Type developers are seeking to improve efficiency by allowing Selfie Type to be customised depending upon individual typing styles. No further information has yet been given, however, this should in theory help with improving accuracy.
Furthermore, Selfie Type has only currently been developed to type in English. As such, Samsung’s developers are also looking to open this up to a plethora more languages in the imminent future. In this vein, it is also hoped that Selfie Type will soon be available to tablets, laptops and other mobile devices.
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