Wireless typing systems are nothing new. From roll-up models to laser projected keyboards, we’ve been trying to get portable typing sorted out for a few years. The people at Tap may have cracked the code.
Rather than carry another bulky accessory, like the ones mentioned, the Tap device wears on your fingers like connected rings made of silicone. When you wear it, you can type like you’re using a keyboard, then shove it in your pocket.
Tap offers a unique typing experience in a simple design, which sounds easy to use, and may be the first step in an evolution down the road allowing people another pathway to engage their devices.
The device is a flat piece of black silicone material with five holes. The holes are for each of your fingers on one hand.
There are three different sizes to accommodate different user’s hands. Each hole corresponds with one of the five vowels, but can also be consonants depending on how many times you tap.
Tap works by connecting via Bluetooth to your device. It will connect to any device that would otherwise connect to a wireless keyboard. There are sensors running through the strap for detecting your movement, but also to give you haptic feedback.
If you’re comfortable using it, you can tap (type) without looking at your hand. That way you can send messages during meetings or class without anyone knowing what you’re up to.
To get started, you first must pair your device, much like any other Bluetooth accessory. To do so, you slide Tap over your fingers, sliding past the first knuckle on each finger.
You can use it on either hand or both, according to the FAQ on Tap’s site. Since the device doesn’t work like a traditional QWERTY set-up, I’m not sure how the two-handed version plays out.
Anyway, once it’s on, you tap any surface three times to turn Tap on. Now you can pair it.
The first time you pair, you’ll want to go through the tutorial. They’ve created an app they call TapGenius. The team at Tap says you will need about an hour to learn the first time, but once you get it, Tapping is easy.
The Future For Tap
The first thing this writer wonders is, where does one put Tap when not in use? It’s thin enough that it would go in a pocket, but I would like to wear it.
The makers of Tap have hinted at a final version that wraps around one’s wrist. (Snap bracelet, anyone?) You could keep it on your fingers, but you’ll look like one of the first people to wear a Bluetooth headset like jewelry.
In a world where it looks more and more like solid-state touch displays may go away, as in one where the screen appear as augmentations of a reality we see through glasses, finding creative ways to engage our displays will be imperative.
Tap may be the first generation of that future.
According to Mashable, the creators of Tap want to extend the functionality beyond text in the future. They are working on a version for other languages. The goal for the current version is to get Tap into stores by August of this year.
Keep updated by visiting the Tap site.