California-based VKB this week unveiled its Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard at the DEMO@15 exhibit in Scottsdale, Ariz. The pocket-sized device uses infrared technology to project a full-sized, two-dimensional keyboard onto any flat surface that communicates wirelessly with host devices such at PDAs, wireless phones and mobile computers.

“We turn any reasonably flat surface into an interactive environment,” VKB President Jonathan Curtiss said.

When compared to collapsible keyboards on the market, virtual keyboards are much easier to store and offer the substantial advantage of being oblivious to spills and other environmental issues that can ruin traditional hardware solutions, Curtiss said. As a standalone accessory, the Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard is expected to have an initial retail price in the $149-$199 range, but Curtiss said VKB is pursuing agreements to have the technology integrated into mobile computing devices during the next two years.

Curtiss said potential target markets for the technology include mobile workers, those needing to use space more efficiently and enterprises requiring sterile environments, such as medical facilities.