Review: Tap is a Futuristic Hand-Worn Keyboard That Lets You Type With Gestures

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Tap is a hand-worn, futuristic replacement for a keyboard, mouse, and game controller that connects to iPhones and iPads, Macs, and PCs, and other devices using Bluetooth.

    Tap fits over your fingers and can be used on any surface, meaning you can do away with a traditional desk, but mastering its use takes some intensive practice that may turn some people away.



    Tap is meant to be worn on the left or right hand, with an adjustable ring for each finger. There's a flexible rubber material for the front of each finger (plus a sensor for detecting movement), with each finger connected via a soft woven cord.

    The thumb piece of the Tap is the largest of the bunch and houses most of the electronics, while the adjustable rings for the other fingers are smaller. Tap is meant to fit snugly at the bottom of your fingers, where you would wear a ring. Side note: You're probably going to have to take off rings to wear the Tap because of the way that it fits.


    The woven cord that is between each ring can be pulled tighter or looser, so it's able to fit a range of fingers. Tap comes in small and large sizes, and will fit many hand sizes.


    I have small hands and with the small-sized tap, I was able to adjust the Tap to fit well on all of my fingers. Given that it fits my small hand, it should fit older children and adults alike.

    Click here to

    Article Link: Review: Tap is a Futuristic Hand-Worn Keyboard That Lets You Type With Gestures
  2. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    this is an interesting idea, especially with the growth in VR. but having to learn a whole Tap language might impede adoption. not to mention that that looks ugly and not all that comfy. perhaps when they can get it to a more glove like fit
  3. AvisDeene macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2017
    Keyboards are good enough. This just seems like a gimmick.
  4. Carlos_X_el_magnifco macrumors newbie


    Apr 27, 2018
    This isn't terribly different in concept from existing chording keyboards except it removes the keyboard portion itself. The chording keyboards are great for motivated users who routinely need to simultaneously mouse and type. The big problem is each one has its own system, so you don't have the standardization advantage that QWERTY and its variants have: You cannot sit down and start typing on a new device without training. Until that problem is solved, these devices will remains niche.
  5. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    “Help chihuahuas vault judgemental robots”? LOL! I’m all for innovative interfaces, but this one seems extremely non-intuitive. Add to that the dexterity required, and this will probably go down as just another tech curiosity. Still, it must work for someone; 52 words a minute with one hand is pretty impressive.
  6. frode macrumors newbie


    Jan 26, 2018
    London, UK
    Hardly futuristic. This is what Doug Engelbart demonstrated 50 years ago:
  7. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    It's actually not too bad comfort wise. It didn't bother me much, though I was only using it for a few hours at a time. Slimmer rings would be nice, though. I'm not sure I'd want something like a full glove, it'd be too hot.
  8. luvbug macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2017
    Except for people with certain disabilities, I can't see the usefulness of this product. What problem is it trying to solve?
  9. t.k.dennis macrumors newbie


    Feb 9, 2018
    I have used this product for months. I am up to about 45 or 50 WPM. I actually quite like it. VR is a great use case for sure.

    Truthfully, the place I use it the most is with my iPad / iPhone. It's nice to just lay down in bed like a lazy sloth and send messages on my phone with greater accuracy (for me) than my best day touch typing. I just hold the phone up with one hand, while my right hand is at rest tap typing. With my iPad I like that I can use one hand to mess with objects via touch screen and the other hand to type when doing presentations and documents .etc. It's kind of like a very portable and tiny keyboard that works with any device. I like it.

    The learning system is fantastic, and actually really fun. So you get up to speed quickly. It's an addicting and overly simple game.

    Full disclosure though: The mouse functionality is never going to replace a mouse. As a matter of fact, I have that feature disabled altogether.

    The learning curve isn't bad, but like anything, if you don't end up using it a lot you'll never get good enough at it to replace another input method. Like others have said here, that is where this device will face issues with adoption. Nonetheless, it does feel pretty futuristic and fun to use.
  10. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I've been watching this product for well over a year. I was quite interested in it and fully planned on paying ~$50 to buy it. Then the price was revealed to be 3 digits and the thought of buying it went out the window for me.

    Seems like a great way for typing when your arms or a hand are otherwise occupied, or if you want to give some input to something while on the go without speaking aloud.
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    First Bluetooth headsets made it difficult to tell if someone was crazy or making a call. Now people will be wiggling their fingers and flailing their arms. Making it even tougher.

    On the plus side. This puts us closer to the awesome "Minority Report" computer interface.
  12. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Amazing. How long did it take you to get up to 45/50wpm? I am still abysmally slow at it, but I've been enjoying the learning process. They nailed the tutorials. I hated the mouse too, I turned it off after a frustrating two hours trying to use it.
  13. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    They reviewed this on tv a little while ago and the experience looked horrible like you have to remember all these tabs for each letter. It seemed to require way too much of a learning curve
  14. Mikey44 macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2012
    Don't you know? Blindness, when in VR. Or maybe it's trying to prevent carpal tunnel?

    Based on the description of the requirement of dexterity, I'd say it might even induce a new type of hand issue. I was even trying to imitate some of the skills just really quick, and had no luck.

    I could see getting quick on this though, but like many have said, probably will remain a niche product. Much like the TextBlade that died a few years ago... I don't think I've ever seen one in the wild, but they seem to have a semi active community?

    Edit: They still are having difficulty shipping the products announced 3 years ago... Wow.
  15. robsp2000 macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2005
    A little modification and it could double as brass knuckles with a taser function.
  16. chucker23n1 macrumors 68020


    Dec 7, 2014
    Disappointing (not a good sign) how slow the inventor is. It's not clear to me why they went with their own gestures — was emulating an invisible QWERTY keyboard too hard to get accurate?
  17. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    I’m actually very interested in this for two use cases.

    One use case is for work. I draw on a Cintiq with my right hand and use keyboard shortcuts with my left hand. One problem I have is that to reach keys on the right side of the keyboard with my left hand I have to look at the keyboard, which slows me down. Having programmable taps might allow me to have all my shortcuts available on one hand. Also when I have to type I have to put my stylus down and awkwardly reach over with my right hand to type, which also slows me down. It would be great to be able to do quick, short typing with one hand. It doesn’t even have to be as fast a QWERTY. For longer typing I don’t mind putting down the stylus and pulling out a keyboard. (The Frogpad could also solve these issues but so far that is vaporware.)

    I don’t want mouse functionality but I would like gesture (scrolling, swiping desktops, mission control, launchpad).

    The other use case I have is for mobile devices in general. Not sure if this product is the answer—partly because of the learning curve but more so because it looks strange and cumbersome to wear—but I’ve always thought the QWERTY keyboard was a horrible text input method to bring to touch screen devices. It cuts your screen real estate in half, you have to take your eyes off your content, and for someone who has a lot of typing experience, it’s a huge downgrade in speed and more importantly accuracy. (You could stand up your tablet and use an attached hardware keyboard but then it’s not a tablet anymore.) Tablets need a better text input method, and this is an interesting answer to that.

    I might be willing to give this a try. Accuracy is the major question for me. Without accuracy I’m at the device’s mercy. With accuracy I can build speed.
  18. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I had a coworker with one arm that this would be useful for. For the rest of us? Not so much. I can type 70-80WPM on my iPhone and I'm not even that fast. The people who made this can only type 52WPM, lol.

    I think the next advancement in keyboard-like technology will come from small wireless bits on the side of our head that will see the words forming in our brain and put them onto the display. I think machine learning will go a long way towards making this possible because it will be able to learn each person's brainwaves for each word and recognize the subtle differences. There is a lot of research being done right now on brain to computer interfaces. I think one of the problems will be filtering. For example, as I type this paragraph there is a stream of words flowing through my brain and I consciously choose the best ones to type into this box. So the software will have to see the words and then the intent to use the word. I'm not sure if that adds much complexity.
  19. t.k.dennis macrumors newbie


    Feb 9, 2018
    There is a trick so to speak. This is CRITICAL for getting higher speeds once your skill increases. You need to go into TapManager and increase your “Double Tap Time-out Speed.” This is what prevents you from going too quickly, because otherwise quick double taps represent different letters.
  20. PastaPrimav macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2017
    It is just an unrealistic product. It doesn't actually matter how good or not good it is, or how easy or not to use it is. It is fundamentally flawed. At no point in the future am I ever going to want to put something like this on my hand in order to type. Period. A keyboard sitting on the desk is in no way an inconvenient problem that needs solving. And whatever imagined problem it has, this doesn't solve it.

  21. Matt Leaf macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2012
    It’s still interesting. It’s like that movie. I can’t remember which one, the Thirteenth Floor, or eXistenZ maybe, there was a guy with this type of thing going on.

    I think there are other ways to go about it, ways that are more fashionable. For instance, machine readable nail polish, or rings.

    Combine this with the real future of the ‘webcam’, which is eye-tracking, and you have the beginnings of system where one can type without the need for a keyboard at all - ala while wearing screenbased eyewear.
  22. TheFluffyDuck macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2012
    I got stung with the Leap motion controller. I won't be stung again with this.
  23. drumnkyle macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2007
    I had the Tap for about a month and returned it. I liked it and it was fun, but after practicing a lot, I couldn’t get over about 20 wpm. Also, I couldn’t find a great use case. However, I think your use case is perfect. I think you’ll like it and should consider getting it. Sounds like it will solve your problems.
  24. Vanilla35 macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    An always static - surface level keyboard is not the future. I can tell you that much. The way we type is going to change eventually, and I bet more likely than not the device will be wearable.

    To the problem this solves, it's a problem of convenience and comfort. While sitting at a desk using a desktop, it does not solve much, because speed is likely always going to go to the static keyboard, on a flat stable surface. Those are not the types of technologies that have been coming to light recently though, convenience is king - at least for now. A gesture based keyboard would make typing a ton less stressful, and more easily done when not strictly standing still or at a desk.

    I'm also not someone who has an issue with the current qwerty setup, I type well over 100 WPM and have no issues with it, but hand cramps, and the overall cumbersome nature of a keyboard is simply annoying.

    I also don't think all future technology has to solve a problem, but rather can just improve an experience. This may be a start, but not necessarily the end result.
  25. wolfshades macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    I agree but this solution isn’t the answer. What’s needed is a virtual keyboard setup that will still allow for querty simulation. When I first saw the title of this article, that’s what I thought it was providing, with sensors to respond to finger angles, like that produced on a querty keyboard. Disappointed to find that wasn’t the case.

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