A series of loosely connected rings, instead of a foam block. It’s $149.99, it connects to your phone or computer over Bluetooth, it has eight hours of battery life, and it also works as a mouse now.
Tap has sensors for each of your five fingers. When you tap them on a relatively solid surface (I used a table, but in the launch video people are typing on the chest of a significant other, laps under a table, and a business-suited arm), Tap can tell which fingers are tapping and it turns those motions into text input. A single finger tap is a vowel, and combinations of fingers create the other letters.
It’s supposed to take about an hour to learn the basics of tapping, and Tap comes with games to help the learning process.
Because of all these sensors, Tap can also judge your hand’s movement in space and therefore work as a sort of mouse or VR controller.
My main interest in Tap is that it could fulfill my lifelong dream of operating a wearable computer with some functional level of text input. Tap might not be the right answer, ultimately, but at least it’s a fun attempt at building the future.
A new wearable tech device revealed this week, called the “Tap,” aims to simplify typing methods on devices lacking traditional keyboards (via Bloomberg). Made from a soft foam material, Tap slips onto each finger of your hand and can translate 31 different taps into letters and numbers that are then transmitted to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet.
All Tap needs is any flat surface — “a table, a chair, or even your body” — and for users to overcome a slight learning curve. Each finger on Tap is designated with a vowel, so the rest of the alphabet, and the usual array of special characters and punctuation, can be input using a combination of various finger taps.
That might sound slightly complex, but its creators at Tap Systems, Inc say that it takes about one hour to master Tap thanks to the company’s TapGenius App. The app is described as a mnemonic-based learning tutorial that combines an educational system for users to wrap their heads around Tap’s new input style, with a gaming-style experience.
While Tap’s current market purpose lies in quicker texting and typing within smart devices, the technology’s creators see it as an evolving creation over the coming years. Possibilities include music creation, video game control, and other applications that could open “a world of creative possibilities” for Tap’s users. As it stands, the device already has some interesting practicality for visually impaired individuals, who could possibly learn Tap’s new input system and become a nimble typist on a smartphone without the use of dictation.
“Tap brings an entirely new dimension to how we can interface with the digital world,” said Ran Poliakine, Tap’s co-founder. “Tap’s fundamental technology is applicable not only to language, but also to music, gaming and control. It is a new modality that opens a world of creative possibilities. We are partnering with creative developers and select OEMs to help us unlock its full potential. Our goal is to create an ecosystem in which our partners utilize Tap to deliver new and exciting experiences for our users.
Tap was in a beta test in San Francisco, with an expected ship date for a consumer model in 2016.” The company will also be making a Tap Development Kit available to a few developers to begin implementing the technology in their apps, games, and even interactive AR and VR experiences.
Below is the official information from their website:
Tap is a single handed wearable keyboard and mouse. Made out of Skin-safe TPU, Tap lets you control your devices for 8 hours on a full charge (7 days of standby)
- Control and input text into your Smartphone, Laptop, PC, Tablet, TV & Game Console
- Use Tap™ as a mouse with your Tablet, Laptop & PC
- Control & input text into your VR environment
Inside The Box:
- Tap Strap
- Carrying Case
- Micro USB Charging Cable
- Get Started Guide
- Users Manual
- TapManager: IOS, Android
- TapGenius: IOS
- TapAloud: IOS
- TapTutor: Android
- Mobile Games:
- TapTapBunny: IOS, Android
- TapLoops: IOS, Android
- TapChase: IOS, Android
TAP Wearable Keyboard and Mouse
2.4GHz Bluetooth low energy 4.2
Precision laser mouse
32ft (10m) max line of sight
TAP Wearable Keyboard and Mouse:
Android Jelly Bean 4.3 or later
iOS 9 or later
Mac OS X versions Yosemite or later
Windows© 8.1 and above
Bluetooth© 4.0 and above
TAP Wearable Keyboard and Mouse:
3.7 V, 45 mAh
8 hours of operation
7 days of standby
3.7 V, 370 mAh
provides up to 8 Tap recharges
Size & Weight
Large size Tap:
1.22x 1.3 x 8.38 in (31 x 33 x 213 mm)
15g (0.5 oz)
Small size Tap:
1.22x 1.18 x 8.3 in (31 x 30 x 211 mm)
15g (0.5 oz)
1.49x 1.8 x 6.5 in (38.0 x 45.8 x 165.1 mm)
105g (3.7 oz)