I got a demonstration of Tap Systems' self-titled product, Tap, last night at Pepcom in San Francisco, and I'm intrigued. It's a gesture-based one-handed virtual keyboard. Check out the video at the end of this article.
Tap Systems' Virtual Keyboard with iPad App
I've seen several stabs at doing the virtual keyboard, but this is the first one I walked away from thinking they might have a shot at getting us to think differently—after all, we've been fighting to rid ourselves of QWERTY for decades, yet here we are.
Tap uses a chord system for input. While it's measuring the movement of your fingers, you have to actually tap your fingers on any physical surface for it to register. That means you won't be randomly tweeting random characters while chatting away in the real world, moving your hands, etc.
I think the thing that made me really interested is that it reminded me of the Atreides finger language in Frank Herbert's Dune, where characters could have a coded conversations with their finger tips (from one hand). That's intrigued me since I was a wee lad, and Tap is the closest thing I've seen to that yet.
Also, think about wearing your Apple Watch on one hand and using Tap with your other hand to type out a reply to a message. I've never thought about using a keyboard with Apple Watch before, but with the right software, you could, and the one-handed strap makes that reasonable.
You could also reasonably type using a virtual headset because the input method is designed NOT to need your eyes. It's all about your fingers.
Or, type on your leg under the table during that boring meeting. Or in bed. Etc.
The device comes with an app for learning how to use it, and the company said it will ship later this year. I can't wait to try it out, and that's also a first for a virtual keyboard for me.
Here's the company's promo video.