Tap. That’s the name of the simple-looking five-finger-loop gadget that allows the user to type whatever they like on just about any digital device or computer, even with no keyboard handy. How does it work? Each loop is programmed with sensors that work in tandem to detect which fingers are being used to type with, and different combinations of virtual button-presses correspond to different letters. To start off, each lone finger from the thumb to the pinkie represents one of the five vowels. Just press your finger to any solid surface to begin typing.
Tap Systems, Inc. could have chosen to array a keyboard onto whatever surface your hand is hovering over, but that would introduce potential issues with visibility. This finger-mapping method may sound confusing, but it seems to work rather well for the most part.
Let’s break it down. There are 26 letters, ten numbers, and a variety of symbols, plus capitals and spaces. It adds up to around 96 unique characters. 96 options, five fingers. If double-tapping is included, that’s about 30 ways a human can button-press. Roughly double that again for combinations of double- and single-presses. Add in the motion-sensor technology, and doing all those symbols with one hand suddenly becomes very possible.
Brain blown to smithereens yet? Don’t worry, Tap comes with a tutorial app that will run through its usage with you. The device is versatile enough to work with either the left or right hand, and it’s even possible to strap on a pair for two-handed typing. After a triple thumb press to turn it on, Tap can wirelessly link to any Bluetooth-enabled device – yes, that includes game consoles. Good luck surviving that way, however. Cough – Power Glove – cough.
Tap is up for pre-order now and will run $130, with shipping expected around the new year.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.