HTC and Logitech bring keyboards into virtual reality

HTC and Logitech have announced the new Logitech BRIDGE SDK, a way for developers to add keyboard support to their virtual reality apps. The support aims to make it possible for VR users to enter text in their virtual reality environment, doing so using a Logitech G gaming keyboard alongside an HTC Vive Tracker and a special accessory that positions it where it needs to be for the keyboard. Users will see the keyboard and their hands in the virtual world during use.

Typing is simply faster and easier than using a controller to select individual letters from an on-screen keyboard. To solve that problem is this new partnership between HTC and Logitech, bringing a virtual keyboard into the virtual world. Use your hands to type on the actual keyboard and you'll see a virtual representation of your hands in the VR world.

Because users are seeing a VR keyboard, developers are free to make it look however they'd like for their app — it can be whatever color or design, assuming the general layout is retained. In a recent blog post, Logitech's Director of Innovations & Strategy Vincent Tucker said:

The result? We've created a way for the HTC Vive Tracker to represent a keyboard across the Steam VR system. It is this software piece that presents the user with an overlaid virtual representation of their keyboard in any VR application, complete with animations when keys are pressed. It's compatible with all apps that are developed based on SteamVR. The developer's application does not need to manage anything, the overlay appears automatically as soon as the associated Vive Tracker is turned on.

As part of this, Logitech has 50 developers kits, which it will be giving to some developers as part of a new program. Interested developers have until November 16 to submit their application to get in on the developers program. The company says that if demand is high enough, it may offer the kit for purchase after it has given away the 50 units it has.