Looking more like a sci-fi knuckleduster, Tap’s groundbreaking wearable keyboard and mouse combo has been something I’ve been proud of since its early days in development. With the inherent user-unfriendliness of tablets when it comes to text inputs (I have tiny hands), I’ve longed for something that requires less contortion than an iPad keyboard, and something that offers more privacy than just plain dictating my inputs out loud.
The all-new product by Tap uses five sensors situated on each finger contained within knuckleduster-esque rings to detect finger position to register individual keystrokes. Single finger movements signal vowels, combinations represent consonants – commonly used ones are intelligently allocated easier finger configurations. Tap will also bundle games to challenge your learning curve and assist in nailing down this unique form of signing to a tee.
There’s plenty to be excited about. This innovation by Tap represents a new interface possibility that is discreet, one-handed and operable by touch alone. This is huge, given the current gap in suitable inputs for VR, AR, and even unwieldy tablet devices. It might even be a good way to input text into your Smart TV without having to find an interface to input commands.
Of course, there might be a few downsides – but all these might be resolved by its second iteration. These include ergonomics – the difficulty to handle and manipulate everyday objects with the “knuckle dusters” on. Also a significant barrier is the typing speed and learning curve. Instead of muscle memory of key positions for different fingers to tap on, Tap requires extensive memory of different configurations of hand positions to effectively “sign” the alphabet. It might have been a lot easier to get users to trace out alphabet shapes with hand or finger gestures.
Tap is available at present from USD149 at their website.