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Tap fits over your fingers and can be used on any surface, which means you can do without a traditional desk, but mastering its use requires some intense exercise that can distract some people.
Tap is for the left or right hand, with an adjustable ring for each finger. There is a flexible rubber material for the front of each finger (plus a motion detection sensor), with each finger connected via a soft-woven cord.
The thumb of the Tap is the largest in the bunch and houses most of the electronics, while the adjustable rings for the other fingers are smaller. Tap is designed to sit exactly on the bottom of your fingers where you would wear a ring. Side Note: You'll probably have to take off rings to wear the tap because it fits.
The woven string, which is located between the individual rings, can be pulled tighter or looser so that it can accommodate a number of fingers. Tap comes in small and large sizes and fits many hand sizes.
I have small hands and with the small tap I could adjust the tap so that it fits well on all my fingers. Since it fits my little hand, it should suit older children and adults alike.
Tap is comfortable to wear, even for extended periods of time, and I had no discomfort when using it, except for some slight cramps from my hand in a position that it is not accustomed to while I was learning to create the taps letters.
The Tap Keyboard comes with a well thought-out carrying case that also serves as a charger that powers the Tap via a micro USB connection. Battery life was fine in my experience, and I only had to recharge once or twice a week, even for a few hours a day.
To charge the tap, the thumb piece fits on an inductive charger, while the other finger rings sit clean on annular holders in the housing. Everything concludes magnetically for an easy journey.
Tap is in no way like a traditional keyboard, and learning it takes a lot of practice. It's a completely new input method that correlates different combinations of finger taps with letters and numbers of the alphabet.
For example, a simple tip on the thumb creates an A while tapping the index finger makes an E. Tapping on the middle finger creates an I, an O by tapping the ring finger, and a tapping on the little finger.
Other letters are entered through increasingly difficult knock combinations that I found difficult to master. For example, to enter a K, tap your thumb and ring finger while typing a B with your index finger and little finger.
There are some letter combinations that I can not physically. I can not knock my middle finger and my little finger without my ring finger. I'm not sure if that's something I could learn over time, but I do not think so. I also can not make the volcanic greeting, so I clearly have less dexterity than some people and others can not stand this problem.
I'm not the only one who has typing problems with letters that involve the ring finger, because there are alternatives to all tricky ring finger letters. For example, I can create a J by knocking on my middle finger twice, a Z by tapping my thumb and a little finger, or an A by tapping my thumb twice.
Punctuation and numbers are also integrated into the faucet, punctuation generally being done by tapping twice on a standard letter. For example, a single tap of index and ring finger will produce an M, but double-taping will produce a comma. A single tap on the index finger makes an e, but a double tap makes an exclamation point.
For numbers, tap your middle, ringing, and little fingers to enter Number mode. The first five numbers then correspond to the thumb, forefinger, middle finger, ring finger and little finger. A six is the thumb and the little finger together, a seven is the index finger and the little finger together, and so on. An eight, a gesture I'll never control, is the middle finger and the little finger. Unfortunately, there is no standard replacement for difficult number gestures.
The use of this device requires a good deal of hand movement and a good deal of dexterity in terms of accessibility, it is probably not suitable for people with limited freedom of movement. For people with poor eyesight, however, the Tap has the potential to be valuable because it is based solely on finger taps.
There's an iOS app, TapGenius, that lets you learn the finger gestures for each letter and number, as well as using the Tap as a replacement for a mouse or gaming controller.
TapGenius guides you through the different letters that you can use to run a few letters at a time through multiple practice sessions to help you master them. I thought the TapGenius app was smart, easy to use, and great at teaching me how to use the tap.
To be honest, when I started practicing Tap, I thought it would take much longer (like weeks) to learn it. I was impressed by how quickly I was able to record it and how well I remembered the typing movements from day to day. Memorizing 26 gestures along with gestures for symbols and numbers sounded like a daunting task, but it was not.
You should be technically able to learn all taps in about an hour, but it took longer for me. I spent 30 to 45 minutes a day for four days before going through the entire learning system and learning the taps for letters, numbers, and common punctuation. Thanks to the screen time function of iOS 12, I know that I needed just under three hours.
I learned the tap in 30-minute increments or so, because I was sometimes frustrated with the more complicated gestures, but I was looking forward to the practice sessions every day because the TapGenius app is fun. I continued to practice after learning the letters, but it is still a slow process.
At this point, I can do all the taps for all the letters, but I can not do them all Good, Learning the Tap is easy, but I think it will be a much, much longer process. I can write with the Tap keyboard, but it's a slow and tedious process, and it will take time to use the different taps without thinking about what I'm doing for each individual letter.
Recently, Tap Systems announced a new TapMapper tool that allows Tap users to create their own custom layouts and TapMaps that can be taped or shared with other Tap users.
TapMapper supports multi-language mappings, game key binders, device trigger triggers, coder shortcuts, and custom enterprise app input. All this will allow the tap more than before.
Creating a custom mapping for the tap may be done on the TapMapper websiteand it does not require any programming experience. TapMapper supports the assignment of keystrokes and hotkeys to individual branches, double branches, triple branches and branches in combination with Shift and Switch.
I did not bother with that because it's not intended for launching users, but it's a good option for advanced users of Tap.
The Tap works the same as any other Bluetooth keyboard that you can connect to an iPhone or iPad so you can use it for any text input such as emails, notes, messages and more once you've learned all the letters, numbers and punctuation.
In addition to the TapManager iOS app for managing the Tap, checking the battery level, changing hands and other management functions, and learning how to use the Tap, there are several games that you can download to use with the Tap.
On iOS, the Tap can be a game controller as well as a keyboard replacement, but game developers must implement the functionality, so it's all tap-made games that work with the Tap.
There's a game called TapLoops, where you have to erase rows of circles with different taps, and TapChase, where you control a character in an endless runner and use taps for jumping, shooting, shooting, shielding, and more. In TapBunny, the heaviest of the group, you have to use different roosters to guide a hare through a maze and control the hare's leaps through taps.
Touch the Mac
Tap can be connected to a Mac like any other Bluetooth keyboard, but there are no tap-specific apps on the Mac. You can use it to type as you normally would, as long as you have saved all the different taps.
On the Mac, the tap can be used instead of a mouse, but I gave it up after an hour when I tried to use it. It is not a convenient way to use mouse gestures instead of a trackpad or a traditional mouse, and I could not achieve accuracy after several attempts.
If you're using the tap as a mouse, you'll need to bring your thumb (and larger thumb tap) in contact with a hard surface and pull your thumb around like a mouse. The click is done with different finger clicks. For example, a single click is a tap with the index finger, while a right click is a tap with the middle finger.
Scrolling is done by tapping the ring finger or little finger, while dragging and dropping can be done with the index and middle fingers.
It did not matter how I adjusted the mouse sensitivity by using the tap because a mouse was uncomfortable, inaccurate and frustrating. In addition, mouse mode occasionally interfered with keyboard mode, so I deactivated it all together.
With Tap on Mac combined with tap maps, custom maps can be created for games like Fortnite, as shown in the following Fortnite demo video.
At this point, I know all the gestures to write a particular letter, and with a few notable exceptions, I am able to execute them. Unfortunately, the tap is not always able to recognize them. There are cases where I am certainly with the right taps, but it does not recognize the correct letter.
I do not know if this is a problem with Tap, a problem with how I hold my hand, a failure to make the gesture exactly as the Tap wants it or something else, but it is definitely a frustration that I noticed.
In videos, Tap is shown on both hard and soft surfaces, like a leg. I'm not sure if using Tap on soft surfaces is a bit of practice, but I had a much harder time using it on a moldable surface than on a tabletop. On a soft surface, it would not register certain gestures or it would misinterpret them, but it is quite possible that soft surfaces need to be adjusted, similar to learning threading.
However, after a good two weeks of training, I was never able to use the tap successfully or reliably on a non-hard surface.
All Tap apps need to be updated and have rather poor interfaces. For example, the TapGenius app has not been updated for the iPhone X, and some functions of TapGenius (number of words per minute) do not work on the iPhone. Overall, TapGenius was still a great learning tool.
The games were a good proof of the concept, but nothing that I would play for more than a few minutes. As far as the Tap apps go, the games certainly had the best design, especially tap loops.
The average person probably will not try to replace their current device keyboard with a portable option that is a bit uncomfortable, difficult to control, and slower to type, so the tap is definitely a niche product.
People who like unique keyboard setups who are interested in new technology, and people who work on wearable computing may want to take a look at the tap because maybe we'll all interact with our devices when wearable computing options like AR headsets are becoming more common.
In a world where wearable computing is the norm, a gesture-based solution like the Tap can deliver more convenience and convenience than a connected hardware option. However, the Tap is a novelty right now and not a necessity for our devices with clear hardware-based control methods. The exception, of course, when it comes to accessibility – for people with visual impairment, the Tap could be an appealing keyboard alternative.
The Tap is not without its problems, including its frustrating mouse mode, its problems with soft surfaces and its tendency to get some letters wrong, but these are software problems, not hardware issues and can probably be worked out when the tap matures.
I enjoyed learning the tap thanks to the clever tutorial software, but I can say that it takes a lot more practice to tap a third as fast as possible with a standard Mac keyboard. And frankly, I do not think I'll ever reach Mac-like writing speeds (80-100 WPM), but some people can type at speeds up to 60 words per minute.
For anyone interested in trying the tap, it is important to mention that good hand skills are required. I'm still learning to master certain gestures because my fingers just do not work that way (I have no motor problems), and I can not say exactly if that improves with more practice.
Tap is hard to recommend for the average person because of its learning curve (plan to spend weeks, if not months) and its price ($ 180), but I think it will be absolutely attractive for some people out there, and it is definitely a fascinating piece of technology for those who like novel products.
How to buy
The tip can be bought from the Tap website for $ 179.
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