A virtual keyboard can be defined as a software component that allows its users to enter all the characters that are required. It is a device that can be operated with the help of multiple input devices and these devices can include an actual computer keyboard, a touch screen and also a computer mouse. There are various types of virtual keyboards. On a PC, the main purpose of using a virtual keyboard is to provide a definite alternative for an input mechanism for the users that have disabilities or for the users who do not own an on-screen keyboard.
A virtual keyboard can be used commonly as an on screen input method in the devices that do not have any physical keyboard. In such devices there is actually no room for a physical keyboard such as a personal digital assistant, a pocket computer, touchscreen and a tablet computer. The text is inputted commonly by tapping the keyboard or through finger tracing. These types of keyboards are also used as features of the emulation software for the systems that have much fewer buttons when compared to a computer keyboard. The categories of virtual keyboards have been explained below.
• The physical keyboards that have distinct keys can combine the electronically changeable displays in the various keypads.
• The virtual keyboards can have the touchscreen keyboard layouts and also the sensing areas.
• The layouts of the optically projected keyboard or the similar arrangements of the keys and sensing areas.
• The optically fingered gestures and also human hand.
• These keyboards can also allow the input from a variety of other input devices such as a switch, computer mouse and also other assistive technology devices.
These keyboards can be put to effective use in order to reduce the growing risk of the key stroke logging. For example there are services that use a virtual keyboard for the purpose of entering a password. This use of a virtual keyboard makes it difficult for the malware to monitor the display and the mouse to acquire the data that has been entered through the keyboard. The use of a particular on screen keyboard on which the user can type with the help of mouse clicks can increase the risk of any password disclosure by shoulder surfing. Thus there are some security issues that need to be taken into consideration in order to make these types of keyboards a natural success.