The Transhumanist

Logitech- Bringing Keyboards Into Virtual Reality

Logitech today has disclosed the Bridge developer kit, that makes it easier to use a keyboard while you are wearing the virtual reality headset. It also authorizes the developers to customize their keyboard’s appearance so that it could be matched up with the experience they are living in.

In the past year, Oculus and HTC came up in front of the world with high-end consumer-grade virtual reality systems. The ultimate products like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive both offer engaging experiences that pull you out of the real world and into the fantasy that is the game you are playing. When VR headsets were introduced to the world, entertainment was the primary focus for its use. Both the Oculus and HTC stuck to the games and entertainment to drum up interest in that medium.

In a short span of time, when the Vive hit the market; HTC immediately started to drum up interest in VR hardware from businesses. The Vive Business edition featured additional hardware and dedicated corporate support line that was presumed to convince companies to invest bucks into Virtual Reality for nothing but the productivity purposed. However, it is believed that the VR has the potential within to make the long-distance collaborations easier. Although, for the virtual reality technology, for absolutely boosting the productivity of the average person, you need an approach to bring the common input devices into your virtual spaces.

Microsoft has recently launched the Windows Mixed Reality platform, that tries bleeding the virtual world with the real world for productivity and entertainment purposes. The Microsoft’s platform allows you to interact with the virtual environment and also leaving you with access to your mouse and the keyboard. However, the usage of a keyboard with a Windows MR headset is not possible; but it isn’t exactly convenient. You have to lift the visor of your keyboard so that you can use it. So that, it becomes easier to use a keyboard and mouse and that too in combination with a Vive headset that it could be with a Windows MR headset.

Earlier in this year, the HTC announced the Vive Tracker universal tracking system, that would enable hardware creators and the developers to add SteamVR Trackings such as the light guns and other peripherals. Moreover, with three of them, you could enable three bodies tracked avatars, in some of the virtual experiences. Logitech has then realized that it could use the Vive trackers to attach SteamVR tracking to gaming keyboards.

“We’ve been working with Logitech over the past year and think what they’ve created is the solution we all need,” said Darshan Shankar, Founder, and CEO, Bigscreen, Inc. “Virtual keyboards are great for simple interactivity, but for productivity and collaboration, there’s nothing quite like the tactile feel of typing on an actual physical keyboard. Being able to see your keyboard in VR makes it significantly easier to type and interact with our computers.

Logitech later took the tracked keyboard idea and successfully created the Bridge developer kit, that offers far beyond than just spatial tracking for your input device. The Bridge SDK made it possible to virtually customize your keyboard and to match it with your personality or to pair better with the experience that you’re in.

The Logitech Bridge SDK includes a virtual model of a Logitech G gaming keyboard, all complete with animations for the key presses. The Bridge also offers and features animations for your fingers that enables you to optimize where your hands are in relation to the keys. However, the company didn’t disclose how this feature works and tracks your hands but it stated that it “created a way to use the Vive’s existing tracking” system to track your fingers.