TapXR puts finger-tap control of devices in bracelet form
Back in 2016 we told you about a wearable device known as the Tap Strap, which lets users control Bluetooth-linked devices via finger-taps. Its inventors have now announced its sleeker and more capable successor, called the TapXR.
Created by California-based startup Tap, the Tap Strap (as opposed to the TapXR) incorporated five linked rings which encircled the fingers and thumb of the user's dominant hand.
Accelerometers in each of those rings detected tapping movements made by the respective appendage. A microprocessor in the thumb ring converted those movements into corresponding commands (different ones for different fingers), then transmitted those commands to a paired smartphone, tablet, laptop or other electronic device.
The TapXR works in a similar fashion, although it takes the form of a single bracelet that's worn around the wrist. It utilizes integrated motion and optical sensors to determine which finger (or fingers) is currently tapping – on any nearby surface – then relays the relevant command accordingly, with a claimed 99% rate of accuracy.
The device can be used to emulate a full keyboard, reportedly allowing users to type one-handed at speeds of over 70 words per minute. It can also be user-programmed to identify and transmit over 100 separate commands. The technology is particularly well-suited to use in VR applications, where users need to issue commands but can't see a real-world keyboard or other peripheral.
According to the company, the TapXR is compatible with most major brands of VR and AR headsets, along with Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome-based laptops/PCs, plus iOS, Android and Windows-based tablets and smartphones. One 4-hour charge of its battery should be good for 10 hours of runtime.
The TapXR is being offered in six different colors, in Large and Small sizes. It can be preordered now for US$249, with delivery expected to take place in the first quarter of next year.
You can see it in use, in the video below.
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