One aspect of VR that has been overlooked is using a keyboard in a virtual world. It can feel a bit clunky once you've slapped on a headset and transported yourself into a virtual space. To address this, Logitech is launching an accessory kit that lets you see its keyboard in VR.
It's called the Bridge developers kit and it works with the HTC Vive. The kit consists of a Logitech G gaming keyboard, a Vive Tracker that attaches to the upper-left corner of the keyboard, and a software development kit (SDK) for developers.
Once connected, Logitech's software plops a virtual keyboard on top of the real one, allowing you to see both the keyboard and your hands. From there it's up to developers to get clever in how to best utilize the keyboard tracking, such as by customizing the look and function of the keys.
"We believe that a physical keyboard should be present, as it delivers essential tactile feedback and a universal experience that people value. Whether you are using a keyboard for gaming, communication or productivity, it is an effective and efficient tool. Besides letters, numbers and symbols, keyboards provide a range of modifier keys for more complex actions, all learned, perhaps painfully, and stored in your memory over years of use," Logitech explains (opens in new tab).
There are a couple of downsides to note. One is that it only works with Logitech's G gaming keyboard and the Vive. The other is the limited availability. Logitech is accepting applications from developers up through November 16 and will dish out the first 50 units for free. After that, its costs $150 for the keyboard and SDK—the tracker is an additional $99, and of course there is the cost of the Vive headset ($599).