KAMELEON for new HP Calculators


The Kameleon user interface by Universal Electronics would be an awesome way to make new HP calculators. Just imagine that the key symbols would change as you select menus and would also allow many different calculator models by simply changing software. Can you think of the possibilities for third party and user modified software design?

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See the link below about Kameleon



The only problem (and it's a significant one, in my book) is the lack of real keys and real tactile feedback.

Whenever I envisioned such a "morphing" user interface for HP calculators, I imagined a little LCD on every keytop and an LCD keyboard face surrounding them -- these could/would change the keytop and keyaboard legends in concert with different modes of operation, menu options, or custom key assignments. All of this, of course, while preserving discrete, palpable key buttons.

That ain't gonna happen, even though they'd only need to make two (or maybe a few) different keycaps -- the legends would all be "soft", and come alive at startup.

Who knows, maybe with the evolution of operating systems, software and connectivity, and the blending of computers, telephones, pagers, cameras, recorders, video players, GPS receivers and internet email/chat ports, perhaps the only way to profit in personal electronics will be to offer customizable handheld devices that can be FULLY configured to the user's needs?

With enough competition for delivery of the most distinctive and easily-used personal hardware, development of a device offering "intelligent keytops" may one day be, in fact, a rational, economically promising endeavor . . .

Isn't it generally true that money invested in improving the person/machine interface is wisely spent?


But the article says "...the Kameleon technology combines the tactile feel of pushing on a button with a virtual display." How (or if) they manage that, I don't know. Maybe the button is a lens or window showing a display underneath it? I suppose a display could be built into the button itself, but that sounds very expensive and I'd have serious doubts about the reliability.

I'm definitely going to have to check this gadget out at RadioShack one of these days.





I bet on a keyboard with a lens on each "changing-label" key. What I am wondering about is the reading easiness. How "large" should be the lens surface (if this is the technology) or the keys' readable surface so the labels can be read? Resolution? Reflective/self iluminated labels?

I'd like to read more about it.



In addition to Kameleon, Universal has software called Nevo that runs on a Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) hand-held computer. Nevo can control more than 1,500 brands of electronics with a display that changes depending on whether one is controlling a stereo, DVD player, or other device.



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