Tap Strap wearable keyboard gains support for VR applications | Computing
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Last year Tap Systems released what it called the future of computing, a wearable keyboard that allowed users to type with a single hand. By slipping your fingers through five interconnected rings, you could tap away on any surface, creating a portable ‘take anywhere’ keyboard. Now, the company has indicated that its solution, the Tap Strap, is compatible with Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive headsets, allowing users to tap away in virtual reality (VR).
While touch typists might scoff at the idea, the inability to directly view your keyboard while typing due to a VR headset can be quite a hindrance. Tap System’s solution means that you can type away without needing to look at the device you are using to accomplish the task. The invention even allows users to simulate the click of a mouse, putting all of your computer’s primary inputs directly on your hand.
Tap has noted that the product can be used sitting or standing, so whether you are looking to simulate a virtual desktop experience, or you need to whip out a keyboard while playing a stand-up shooter (although we don’t know why), you can begin typing at a moment’s notice. Offering flexibility, the solution could prove useful to everyday users, gamers, and professionals utilizing VR in their workflow.
Mobile applications and games are available for iOS and Android devices to help users improve their typing skills. The company will also soon be offering what they call TapAcademy, a training solution that promises to get you typing at over 30 words per minute within 30 days. Speed typists might be discouraged to learn though that the typing speed record, according to Tap Systems, is only 62 words per minute.
Those considering the application of the Tap Strap in VR should note that the device’s micro-battery can squeeze out eight hours of operation, after which it will require recharging via its proprietary charging case. The charging case itself holds a 370mAh backup battery and is recharged via a MicroUSB cable.
While not everyone will find a use for Tap System’s one-handed solution, it may find some love within the world of VR, where direct visibility with a keyboard isn’t possible. Those looking to try out the exercise can purchase the device at its current price of $179.