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[Discussion] Typing Devices Designed for XR: Share Your Thoughts with Me

Discussion in 'AR/VR (XR) Discussion' started by shipmun, Apr 18, 2019.


Cool or Nah

  1. Cool

  2. Nah

    0 vote(s)
  1. shipmun


    Apr 18, 2019
    Hello! I am a hobbyist hardware developer who has been working on a project to create a typing device for augmented/virtual reality applications. Smart Glasses users are my primary market, but I imagine it would be useful for VR headsets as well.

    I'm just here to ask y'all's opinions: What do you think would be the ramifications of a device that allows the user to type unobtrusively in an XR environment? Enabling texting, note taking, easy web browsing, and generally making all apps easier for the user to interact with--without taking away freedom of movement like a regular keyboard does.

    Think something that accomplishes the same thing as this one company's product, Tap, but with some major differences.

    Better explanation of my device (let's call it Digit for now)

    Similarities to Tap:
    Enables typing at reasonable speeds
    One handed
    Steep learning curve for learning the method of typing (roughly equal to when you learned how to touch type)
    Wireless and mobile
    Can't type and use that hand at the same time
    Differences from Tap:
    Don't have to take it off to use your hand--more importantly, don't have to put it ON to type, so typing can be at any moment's notice as long as you aren't actively holding something in that one hand
    Doesn't require a surface, less impact on the fingers than a keyboard
    More comfortable, less noticeable
    Doesn't require accelerometers or gyros (YET, I may add mouse-like navigation using a single 3-axis gyro/accelerometer eventually)
    Cheap. My prototype cost me ~$14 in supplies off amazon (many hours to build it by hand though)

    Also has the potential to add flex sensors, but not anytime soon.

    SO. Do you think it has a market? My hope is that it would finally make Smart Glasses worth more than jack sh*z, which is all the world thinks they are right now. Any thoughts or questions at all??? I'm begging for some feedback here ^.^;
  2. JoeStrout


    Jan 14, 2011
    Yes, I think this is an important need. I expect we'll see a lot of things to serve this need coming into the market at some point, but you may as well jump in now; and who knows, maybe you'll be picked up by a big player? Or at least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you improved the world.

    I think you're making the right choice to pick a system that requires some practice/training to use. Much better that people should spend a few weeks training, for the benefit of better input the rest of their lives, than a system with less training but lousy input rate or whatever. I'd be happy to work with you on some VR training games for it.

    Although focusing on text input is a very important and sensible thing to do, I hope you've also given a little thought to what else the device could be used for (e.g. games).
  3. shipmun


    Apr 18, 2019
    Thanks for your reply! Yes, I have given some thought to gaming applications. This would be especially important in the VR market. I intend to train myself to use Digit on my game of choice (Team Fortress 2). WASD should be intuitive on it, but the method inherently struggles with more than 2 or 3 buttons being pushed at the same time.

    I'll keep you in mind for training games! Right now I practice using the Quizlet Gravity game, and I don't think it's a very polished way for your average consumer :p