Wearable keyboard maker adds gesture mouse to the mix
We've kind of got used to sitting at a desk and tapping away on a computer or laptop keyboard, but it's not always the most comfortable experience. Indeed, things can turn painful after a while. Though there are numerous ergonomic keyboards available, Tap introduced an intriguing wireless strap back in 2016 that turned taps on a table top into text input on a phone or tablet. Now that setup has been upgraded to include mouse functionality.
As before, users pull the Tap Strap 2 over their fingers and thumb like you'd put on a glove. The result looks like you're wearing a knuckle-duster or are auditioning for a glam rock band, but the wearable is reported to give "users the power to rapidly send commands and control media through gestures, for everyday devices."
When the hand is horizontal, the wearable acts as a virtual keyboard. Typing out text is not a matter of trying to remember where letters are positioned on a QWERTY layout, but words and phrases are generated using finger combinations, with Tap reckoning that learning to type using this setup should take about a couple of hours.
If a user rests a thumb on the surface, the system auto switches to optical mouse mode with the equivalent of 1,000 DPI sensitivity. And when the hand is rotated vertically, the system goes into AirMouse mode – allowing for the control of smartphones, tablets, laptops, Smart TVs and so on using hand gestures.
The Tap Strap 2 is compatible with devices running iOS, Android, OS X, Windows and Linux operating platforms, and connects to them over Bluetooth. But this version has been optimized for use with an iPad, allowing the wearer to navigate the touchscreen interface without actually touching it.
"Tap Strap 2 is the perfect accessory for the iPad," said the company's Dovid Schick. "It provides a fast, accurate keyboard, a high-precision optical mouse, and now, with AirMouse, the first ever plug-and-play Bluetooth gesture controller. It also provides an intelligent and seamless way for you to control your iPad remotely without having to hunch over the screen. With the advancements of iPadOS and Tap Strap 2, you can have your entire office right in your hand."
Up to 10 hours of continuous use per charge are promised, or seven days on standby.
The Tap Strap 2 is available now for US$199, the video below has more. The first gen Tap Strap will continue to be available for $149, but doesn't feature the AirMouse functionality.