Computers

Wearable keyboard lets users Tap to type

Wearable keyboard lets users T...
The Tap Strap is worn on the hand
The Tap Strap is worn on the hand
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The Tap Strap is worn on the hand
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The Tap Strap is worn on the hand
Users pull the Tap Strap onto the hand like a glove, with holes for each finger and the thumb
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Users pull the Tap Strap onto the hand like a glove, with holes for each finger and the thumb
The Tap Strap is pulled onto the hand past the knuckles
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The Tap Strap is pulled onto the hand past the knuckles
Sensors embedded in the Tap Strap monitor the movement of the hand and fingers
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Sensors embedded in the Tap Strap monitor the movement of the hand and fingers
The Tap Strap's inventor David Schick says it is "more discreet and accurate than voice input," as well as "faster and more precise than gesture-based systems"
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The Tap Strap's inventor David Schick says it is "more discreet and accurate than voice input," as well as "faster and more precise than gesture-based systems"
To type with the Tap Strap, users can tap on any surface
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To type with the Tap Strap, users can tap on any surface
Different fingers are tapped in different combinations to type different characters
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Different fingers are tapped in different combinations to type different characters
Letters, punctuation, numbers and special characters can all be typed using the Tap Strap
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Letters, punctuation, numbers and special characters can all be typed using the Tap Strap
The Tap Strap is designed to provide "fast, accurate and eyes-free" typing for iOS and Android phones and tablets, Mac and Windows PCs and smart TVs
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The Tap Strap is designed to provide "fast, accurate and eyes-free" typing for iOS and Android phones and tablets, Mac and Windows PCs and smart TVs
TapGenius provides tutorials for users in the form of musical and visual games
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TapGenius provides tutorials for users in the form of musical and visual games
Once fully charged, the Tap Strap can be used for four hours or left of standby for 72 hours
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Once fully charged, the Tap Strap can be used for four hours or left of standby for 72 hours
In order for users to learn the different tapping combinations required for typing, Tap has created an accompanying app called TapGenius
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In order for users to learn the different tapping combinations required for typing, Tap has created an accompanying app called TapGenius
Tap Systems sees gaming, augmented reality and and virtual reality as three potential areas for use of the Tap Strap
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Tap Systems sees gaming, augmented reality and and virtual reality as three potential areas for use of the Tap Strap

The decline of desktop computing and the proliferation of other devices that require text input mean that alternatives to the traditional keyboard are now needed. The Tap Strap wearable keyboard is one such alternative that works with Bluetooth devices and lets users tap on any surface to type.

Worn on the hand, the device is similar in concept to the AirMouse wearable mouse and the Gest gesture control glove. It is designed to produce more outputs than the former, though, and is more tailored for purpose than the latter. The startup manufacturer behind the device, Tap Systems, says it provides "fast, accurate and eyes-free" typing for iOS and Android phones and tablets, Mac and Windows PCs and smart TVs.

Users pull the Tap Strap onto the hand like a glove, with holes for each finger and for the thumb. It can be worn on either the right or left hand, or one can be worn on each hand for two-handed typing. Three taps of the thumb will switch on the Tap Strap and three taps of the ring finger will switch it off.

Once the strap has been donned and switched on, it can be paired with the device to be controlled, after which users can start typing immediately. Sensors embedded in the strap monitor the movement of the hand and fingers, with different fingers tapped in different combinations to type different characters. The Tap Strap's inventor David Schick says this makes it "more discreet and accurate than voice input," as well as "faster and more precise than gesture-based systems."

In order for users to learn the different tapping combinations required for typing, Tap has created an accompanying app called TapGenius
In order for users to learn the different tapping combinations required for typing, Tap has created an accompanying app called TapGenius

The five vowels are typed by tapping one of the fingers or the thumb once, while tapping two or more digits together outputs other characters. Letters, punctuation, numbers and special characters can all be typed.

In order for users to learn the different combinations required, Tap has created an accompanying app called TapGenius. This provides tutorials for users in the form of musical and visual games. Tap says it typically takes users about an hour to learn to type using the app, which is initially available for iOS.

In addition to creating the Tap Strap for typing, Tap Systems says it is partnering with creative developers and select OEMs to find other uses for the device, and that it will be making a development kit available for people to extend its uses. The company sees gaming, augmented reality and and virtual reality as three potential areas for use.

Tap Systems sees gaming, augmented reality and and virtual reality as three potential areas for use of the Tap Strap
Tap Systems sees gaming, augmented reality and and virtual reality as three potential areas for use of the Tap Strap

There are large, medium and small versions of the Tap Strap. It is charged via micro USB and takes three hours to fully charge from empty. Once fully charged, it can be typed with for four hours or left on standby for 72 hours.

The Tap Strap is being made available to select beta users in the San Francisco Bay area to begin, and is expected to ship commercially before the end of this year. It will be priced at US$119.

The video below provides an introduction to the Tap Strap.

Source: Tap

This is Tap

4 comments
EyeMars
If there were two of them, it looks like they could implement the standard QWERTY layout, essentially offering a highly-portable equivalent to the (now sadly bankrupt) Datahand keyboard.
Aaron Turpen
Why not use two and mimic the standard keyboard we're all already familiar with?
StWils
Any activity that reduces the IQ bandwith of a driver will cause accidents. While this is great for many NON Driving applications & users there is an obvious problem with texting while driving. The hardware used is largely irrelevant. I do see very useful value for special ops & covert surveillance use, just not while driving, flying, or doing some other activity that requires focused attention.
Ralf Biernacki
@EyeMars, @Aaron: No, they cannot do QWERTY, even if you have two. On a standard keyboard one finger presses several possible keys, like the left index finger presses one of R, T, F, G, V, B, 4, 5. But this thing doesn't resolve /where/ the finger is tapping, so it cannot distinguish between these. It just picks up a left index finger tap. This device actually emulates a chording keyboard, not a regular one. And it doesn't look very comfortable, either.