Innovative, but Not Enough
Image from: https://www.tapwithus.com/
Advanced technologies always bring about cool inventions and products. Tap Strap is a wearable keyboard without either typewriter style computer keyboards or smart phones’ on-screen keyboards. This Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, which can be wore on knuckles, allows users to type on any surface. Sounds futuristic, doesn’t it?
Will it replace QWERTY keyboard? Will we need a wearable computer, like a pair of glasses, to go with it? Before we asked these questions, we should ask that whether Tap Strap will work out well or not.
To type a single letter, users have to combine different finger taps and typing particular letters can be challenging and perhaps cause fingers cramp. Also, the sensor failed to read the taps when users type faster. Furthermore, you can’t type on your legs or on the belly of your boyfriend although the commercial video showed that you can type on “any” surfaces. Hands are restrained that users cannot pick up a phone or scratch their noses while typing. These might not be problems after practicing and modification; however, people might not consider it a user-friendly input system.
The designer’s design will introduce new ways of life to users and change the lifestyle and habits of people. However, humans’ habits are hard to be changed. Even till today, keys that we still hit every day in the offices and the virtual keyboard of smart phones are still similar to the primitive typewriter. That is, the design was changed, but the system and habits did not. Although there are no more actual keys and buttons on mobile phone, the movements of fingers do not change. New input methods such as speech recognition, gesture recognition, etc. have been proposed. However, over the years, the natural intuition and the training of tapping buttons has been deeply embedded in the habits of keyboard users.
Therefore, Tap Strap's finger movements that seem to strike an invisible keyboard can be accepted. Though Tap Strap didn’t become the new trend of typing, people won’t stop trying for better solutions. With further refinement and tweak, we can expect more convenient input method in the future.
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