If you’ve ever pretended to type by moving your fingers on a table or a surface without a physical keyboard, Tap Systems has a product for you. Tap is a one-handed wearable device that consists of five interconnected finger rings. You put the rings on your fingers, and then when you go through the motions of typing, it effectively converts any surface into a keyboard and mouse.
You can tap your fingers on the nearest surface and Tap will let you compose, edit, and send messages, texts, and emails. You can use it with a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, computer, or virtual reality headset. You can browse and scroll by tapping any surface.
Tap combines research in electronics, algorithms, materials, and industrial design. The gadget’s purpose is to keep us in contact with our ever-growing number of connected devices, whether we are indoors or on the go.
Tap offers a tactile method of communicating with devices when your screen is hard to see, is out of reach, or is too small to type on. That might sound strange, but you can see how it could be useful in something like virtual reality, where you are wearing a headset and can’t actually see a keyboard or mouse.
Each time you tap your fingers or glide your thumb, a character, command, or cursor position is sent to your Bluetooth-enabled device.
The company says that Tap is fast, accurate, easy, eyes-free, and stylish. And it works with most Bluetooth-enabled devices. Typing combinations are easily memorized through free games.
You can type while you’re on flights, on the subway, or under the conference table. Anywhere fingers can touch, users can type using just one hand.
Tap has a wireless charging case that provides a week’s worth of charging on the go. It works for eight hours on a single charge and can remain in sleep mode for 30 days. You can learn how to use it with the TapGenius app, which includes games that teach you the basics in about an hour.
The Tap wearable consists of finger rings that embed all of the required sensing, processing, and transmission electronics in a simple design. Tap accurately detects complex finger-taps on any surface without limiting finger and hand movement.
“Tap is a part of a larger phenomenon in the tech industry,” said Ran Poliakine, cofounder and chief marketing officer of Tap Systems, in a statement. “Our vision is that over time, we will see organic input, such as hand gestures, replacing traditional tech accessories. Tapping your fingers is much faster, more precise, and more rich in combinations that any gesture system that has ever been developed. It finally delivers the functionality that gesture systems have promised and failed to deliver to the industry.”
He added, “From where we were when we first conceptualized Tap to development of the Tap Strap itself, we were overwhelmed by the feedback and excitement we heard from people. Now, with a sleeker, more ergonomic, and more advanced design, we’re giving users the ability to text with just their fingers with the first commercial all-around wearable input device. Voice is not always convenient, and for those who are visually impaired or have trouble with traditional input, we are ushering in a new era of communication with computers and with each other.”
Tap is available for preorder at the company’s website for $130. The founders — David Schick, Sabrina Kemeny, and Poliakine — have funded the company. It has 25 employees.