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"I've come across more and more people who've actually tried reading science fiction and can't make it make sense."
- Samuel R. Delany

Virtual Keyboard  
  A keyboard that appears at the right moment in game play.  

As Charles Forrester watches the virtual reality video game, the boy participates avidly in the illusion with his sister, Tunt.

A harsh male voice rasped. "Tractor ship Gimmel! Your wingmate has an engine malfunction! Prepare to lock, grapple and evacuate crew!"

"Are!" cried the boy. "Start search procedures, Tunt! Keep a watch, Charles!" His hands flashed over the keyboard - it had not been there a moment before, but it was operative; when he energized a circuit, their make-believe ship responded. He put it through a turn; the "virtual" sunship heeled sharply and sped through fountains of flaming gas.

Technovelgy from The Age of The Pussyfoot, by Frederik Pohl.
Published by Ballantine in 1966
Additional resources -

Note also the use of the phrase "'virtual' sunship"; this is a very early use of the idea of a virtual reality setup.

See this virtual piano keyboard, an example of a projected keyboard that works when you use your fingers to manipulate the keys.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Age of The Pussyfoot
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederik Pohl
  Tech news articles related to The Age of The Pussyfoot
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederik Pohl

Virtual Keyboard-related news articles:
  - Virtual Piano Keyboard
  - Fujitsu Touchscreen Mixes Real And Virtual Worlds
  - AirTouch Panels Means No More Dirty Touchscreens!

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