Tap into the future

Tap is a game-changing wearable that turns any surface into a touch-keyboard. Integrated sensors translate your finger taps into alphanumeric input signals and communicate seamlessly with your device. This opens up creative applications for VR, AR, and for the visually impaired.

The founders of Tap struggled to find the ideal design partner to bring Tap to market. Initial prototypes made of cellulose foam enabled the tapping functionality but did not account for durability and hygiene and lacked a certain ‘tech-appeal’. Intrigued by the challenge and opportunity, Shape strived to deliver top-notch industrial design, prototyping, packaging, as well as overseas production services to help get Tap into user’s hands.

Design to fit

Perhaps the biggest challenge was to create a solution that fits comfortably on all finger sizes and hand spans while maintaining a high level of input accuracy. We explored a plethora of adjustable designs through prototyping and testing using flexible materials such as nylon, elastic rope, silicone, etc. We created a database of finger measurements to form dimensional parameters that help us narrow down to just two sizes to economize on inventory and cost.

Design Execution

Guided by research data and prototype development, we arrived at a final product design that is comfortable, understated, and durable for everyday use. Low-profile TPU rings are woven together via a braided sheath to protect the internal conduit. We developed a clever mechanism using printed silicone to make the rings size-adjustable to comfort-fit different hand sizes. All electronic hardware is condensed inside the compact thumb enclosure which contains a laser mouse that uses finger-taps to replace mouse-clicks.

Brains of the operation, and a mouse

Housed inside the thumb ring module is the PCBA, battery, as well as an optical-laser mouse module. We worked back-to-back with electrical engineers to layout components in the most compact manner in order to achieve the smallest package possible.

To activate the mouse, a proximity sensor switches from tap mode to mouse mode when you rest your palm on the table surface. To ensure the most accurate tracking, we’ve designed an intuitive gliding pad that automatically aligns the mouse to any flat surface.

Charging case

To enhance the user experience, we designed a charging case to protect, and extend the product battery life by 8 times - powering the product for over a week without recharging the case. We embedded magnets to securely position the product within the case and prominently displayed through the transparent shield.

Packaging, quick and nimble

Working with our agile packaging supplier, we designed every part of the packaging from inside out. From the structural box to the blister trays, as well as all graphic elements and literature. The fast turn-around enabled the product and packaging to be finalized simultaneously for launch.