A new wearable tech device revealed this week, called the "Tap," aims to simplify typing methods on devices lacking traditional keyboards (via Bloomberg). Made out of a soft foam material, Tap slips onto each finger of your hand and can translate 31 different taps into letters and numbers that are then transmitted to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet.
All Tap needs is any flat surface -- "a table, a chair, or even your body" -- and for users to overcome a slight learning curve. Each finger on Tap is designated with a vowel, so the rest of the alphabet, and the usual array of special characters and punctuation, can be input using a combination of various finger taps.
That might sound slightly complex, but its creators at Tap Systems, Inc say that it takes about one hour to master Tap thanks to the company's TapGenius App. The app is described as a mnemonic-based learning tutorial that combines an educational system for users to wrap their heads around Tap's new input style, with a gaming-style experience.
While Tap's current market purpose lies in quicker texting and typing within smart devices, the technology's creators see it as an evolving creation over the coming years. Possibilities include music creation, video game control, and other applications that could open up "a world of creative possibilities" for Tap's users. As it stands, the device already has some interesting practicality for visually impaired individuals, who could possibly learn Tap's new input system and become a nimble typist on a smartphone without the use of dictation.
"Tap brings an entirely new dimension to how we can interface with the digital world," said Ran Poliakine, Tap's co-founder. "Tap's fundamental technology is applicable not only to language, but also to music, gaming and control. It is a new modality that opens up a world of creative possibilities. We are partnering with creative developers and select OEMs to help us unlock its full potential. Our goal is to create an ecosystem in which our partners utilize Tap to deliver new and exciting experiences for our users.
Tap is currently in a beta test in San Francisco, with an expected ship date for a consumer model "before the end of 2016." The company will also be making a Tap Development Kit available to a few developers to begin implementing the technology in their apps, games, and even interactive AR and VR experiences.
Anyone interested can join Tap's waitlist to be the first to receive new information about the device as its development progresses.