Virtual reality (VR) can do some amazing things, whether that’s immersive videogame entertainment, travelling the world, connecting with friends or holding meeting in virtual spaces and much more. Yet there’s one inherent cravat with the technology, and that’s using a keyboard. Developers tend to either avoid requiring keyboard inputs in their software but there are times when all those buttons are needed, for example going online in VR, and having headset on your face while typing can prove awkward. Enter Tap Systems with its new Tap Wearable Keyboard and Mouse device.
As you can see from the images Tap is designed to fit comfortably around a users fingers and thumb, connecting to any Bluetooth enabled device. Tap allows users to compose text, play videogames, point, click and scroll using just about any available surface. When it comes to VR, the device removes the need to see what your hands are doing as tapping does not require the user to aim for keys, so they can edit documents, create spreadsheets, compose emails and texts all within a virtual environment.
So how does it work? Well Tap doesn’t use the traditional QWERTY keyboard, instead users create letters by tapping one or more fingers onto a surface. So for example tapping your thumb would create the letter A, and so on. Of course with only five sensors there’s going to be quite a few combinations, which is why the company has created a teaching tool to help users become acquainted with the system.
Compatible with Microsoft’s virtual desktop environment for Windows Mixed Reality, Tap can also be used with virtual desktop applications running on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Additional features include a battery that can provide 8 hours of use and 7 days standby, full customisation for videogames and apps, adjustable ring sizes plus a recharging case (seen below).
“Strong efforts are been made to bring desktop productivity and communication tools to immersive environments,” said Dovid Schick, CEO and Co-Founder of Tap Systems, Inc in a statement. “Until now the methods available to input data have made these systems difficult to use. With Tap, users can, for the first time, reap the benefits of extended reality work environments without being slowed down by the cumbersome input. This is a game changer for the adoption of VR/MR systems for enterprise, communications, productivity, and social networking.”