Logitech is making a virtual reality accessory kit that lets you see its keyboards inside VR, called Logitech Bridge. The Bridge system works with HTC’s Vive VR headset, using a Vive tracking disk, a Logitech G gaming keyboard, and an accessory that connects the two. Once you’ve hooked the tracker to the keyboard, Logitech software positions a 3D virtual keyboard model precisely over the real one. It’s a pretty clever idea, although right now, it’s only going out to 50 developers as a proof of concept.
VR is associated with motion controls or gaming controllers, but a number of apps — like VR desktops — are built around keyboards. Even if you can touch-type on an ordinary keyboard, it’s tough to find the right position again if you take your hands off it. Logitech’s system also lets developers overlay custom keyboard layouts, which means you could replace hotkeys or shortcuts with actual labeled buttons. It works with any game or app using the Vive’s SteamVR software.
The downside, beyond limited availability, is price: the prototype system costs $150, in addition to a $99 tracker disk and the $599 HTC Vive.
Logitech has priced the kit at $150 (around £115, AU$195), but note that at this point, the company is still testing the solution, and only supplying it to a limited number of developers (50 devs to begin with – applications to be involved close on November 16).
Depending on how the initial testing goes, and the level of interest, more VR keyboard kits may then be produced. And with any luck, down the line, the product will be available for consumers who want a more real and intuitive typing experience in a virtual reality environment.