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 first 50 developers’ kits are free, but the system otherwise costs $150, in addition to a $99 tracker disk and the $599 HTC Vive. If you already own a nice gaming keyboard or don’t like Logitech’s options, you’re pretty much out of luck: its model probably won’t match other companies’ keyboards. For now, developers can apply for one of the 50 kits using this form; applications close November 16th.
Update: Logitech has clarified that the 50 initial development kits will be offered free.