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TAP turns anything you touch into a keyboard

21 June 2016

Introducing TAP: the revolutionary one-handed wearable which allows you to type by tapping your fingers on any surface: a table, a chair, or even your body.

Image courtesy of Tap Systems

Tap is a fast, accurate and eyes-free method of interfacing with any Bluetooth-enabled device, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and computers.

At this moment, traditional keyboards are the dominant technology for data input into computing devices; but that is about to change, as virtual and wearable computing become more mainstream, and surfaces on which to use keyboards disappear. Tap technology enables seamless communications even within immersive AR/VR experiences where keyboard surfaces are not practical and in wearable computing situations where screens are too small to type on.

The Tap Strap is a soft, flexible smart-textile which embeds an advanced sensing system into a small, comfortable fabric strap. The Tap Strap can be worn on either hand or on both hands simultaneously for two-handed tapping. With each tap, the Tap Strap sends a character or command to a device based on which fingers touched the surface.

Users can typically learn to tap in about one hour using the TapGenius App, a mnemonic-based learning system which combines musical and visual tutorials with a fun and engaging game.

Tap also provides a unique solution for blind and low vision users, who can now communicate on mobile devices with the speed and ease of sighted users. Tapping can be done with fingers touching anything - without the need for on-screen keyboards which can be cumbersome for those who use Voiceover and other text-to-speech features.

"Tap has the potential to become the communication mode of the future, providing fast, accurate interfacing in situations where no physical keyboard exists." said David Schick, Tap's inventor. "Tap is more discreet and accurate than voice input, and is faster and more precise than gesture-based systems."

"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 utilise Tap to deliver new and exciting experiences for our users.

Tap is being made available immediately to select beta users - initially in the San Francisco Bay area. Tap is expected to ship commercially before the end of 2016.

A Tap Development Kit will be available to developers to allow them to harness the capabilities of Tap into a broad range of applications including gaming, AR and VR using the Tap platform. By supporting an ecosystem of developers, the Tap value to consumers can ultimately extend to other languages, games, music, interactive AR/VR and perhaps to new and creative solutions for the future needs of computing.

A Tap reference design will also be made available to select OEMs for integration into their existing and future product lines including wearables and other innovations.

Video courtesy of Tap Systems Inc.

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