The Tap Strap turns any surface into a keyboard, using embedded sensors and BlueTooth technology. The Tap Strap turns any surface into a keyboard, using embedded sensors and BlueTooth technology. The Tap Strap turns any surface into a keyboard, using embedded sensors and BlueTooth technology. (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

This little strap can turn any surface into a keyboard

Aside from being a super cool gadget, it could revolutionize how we interact with our technology.

Is this the end of the keyboard as we know it?

A new wearable device, founded by Israeli tech entrepreneur Ran Poliakine – best known for implementing Powermat wireless charging technology in Starbucks, Cadillacs and Ikeas around the world – senses finger movements and translates them into text from any surface to any smart device. It's called the Tap Strap, and it works through Bluetooth with an accuracy rate of 99 percent, according to Poliakine.

“Tap brings an entirely new dimension to how we can interface with the digital world,” said Poliakine. “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."

Dubbed a "smart textile" by its inventors, the Tap Strap has an embedded advanced sensing system. It 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.

Tap StrapThe strap can be used to replace a keyboard. (Photo: Tap Systems)

The founders say the finishing touches for Tap are still being worked out, but prospective buyers can go to the company's website and be waitlisted to try out the product. The company, which has offices in both Israel and Silicon Valley, is expected to ship the new device before the end of 2016.

“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, a Los Angeles-based tech executive who worked with Poliakine and former NASA engineer Sabrina Kemeny to develop the device. “Tap is more discreet and accurate than voice input, and is faster and more precise than gesture-based systems.”

As with many new devices, there's a learning curve. Here's a quick tutorial.

So will the Tap Strap really replace the keyboard? That remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure: we can't wait to try this thing.

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