Wearable Tech World Feature Article
November 18, 2013

Pairs of Wearable 'TapTap' Devices Allow Two People to 'Touch' Remotely

While the world remains focused on Google Glass as the ultimate (so far) expression of wearable technology, a number of other interesting computing devices that can be worn on the body have debuted, if even only in the prototype stages.

Google Glass, which will be widely available sometime next year, is a rather obvious wearable device (it has already attracted the attention of at least one traffic cop), which is unlikely to fit everyone’s taste. If you’re into more subtle technology – and you’re in a new relationship – you may find that TapTap is right for you. TapTap, which is currently trying to raise funding on the website Kickstarter, is essentially a pair of snap-bracelets that come in a variety of colors and designs. When one bracelet is tapped, either gently or vigorously, it “transfers” the touch to the other bracelet, and the paired bracelet vibrates at the other end.

“TapTap connects you and your beloved one as if you never left each other,” according to the description on Kickstarter. “It is a way to say the most important thing to the most important person. Your beloved is the only one who will feel that you touched your wristband. No matter how far away you are from each other, it feels like you just touched his hand.”

If you’re feeling a little bit of a hairball gathering in the back of your throat (let’s say you’re one of billions of people on Earth who is not a teenage girl), there are a multitude of other ways to use TapTap beyond communing with your beloved. Because of its internal technology, it can also be used as an activity tracker, a game controller or smart alarm. Thanks to a software development kit (SDK), developers could potentially use the device for gaming, device control or other applications using the device’s internal sensors accelerometer and gyroscope.

“There are libraries which transform these data into the respective coordinates of human hand relative to his body, as well as the libraries containing information about steps, jumps, gestures etc., will also be available,” according to the Kickstarter write-up. “It will allow people to drop phone calls just with a slight move of a hand, increase the music volume with an upward swing, play Fruit Ninja, or scratch the virtual vinyl record.”

The device is small and simple. It’s essentially a plastic module and a hypoallergenic silicone slap-bracelet. When the bracelet is in a straight position, users can insert the module in it or pull it out to change colors or designs. When the device is on the wearer’s wrist, the module is locked in. It can also be paired with a smartphone app that allows users to send taps and vibrations from a device, or a “touch” to a device (it looks like someone touched your phone from the inside).

For people interested in becoming “tap-mates,” there are a variety of investment levels still available on Kickstarter.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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