|Type||Software Development Kit (SDK)|
|Industry||Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality|
|Developer||Logitech International S.A.|
|Supported Devices||HTC Vive|
|Release Date||November 3rd, 2017|
Bridge SDK is a software development kit introduced by Logitech. The Bridge SDK enables both Software developers and App developers to bring in entry of text in virtual reality. The SDK was released on November 3rd, 2017 partnering with 50 select developers for creating new and compelling experiences with the VR Keyboard.
About Bridge SDK
The development kit essentially consists of the Logitech Gaming keyboard, the software and an accessory which accurately positions the HTC Vive tracker on the Logitech Gaming Keyboard. One of the downsides of VR is the non availability of an input method for text and that is exactly where the Bridge SDK comes into play. The kit offers a virtual representation of the keyboard in the VR application, the need for the kit to include a physical keyboard is to provide tactile feedback and a universal experience.
The Logitech G Keyboard
The Logitech G keyboard is an important component for Bridge SDK. Any other keyboard from any other maker wouldn’t let you have the virtual keyboard experience. The Logitech G series keyboards are both pro gaming and everyday use keyboards. Logitech is famous for producing tournament grade keyboards.
The Logitech G Keyboards are equipped with Romer-G mechanical switches. These switches are faster, give better response and are long lasting. They are fairly quiet and more comfortable.
The Logitech G Keyboards runs the excellent piece of software called the Logitech Gaming Software. One of the cool features is that you can track stats such as how many times a certain button has been pushed and one can also program the keys from F1 to F12. The backlighting can also be programmed and one can also maintain their lighting profile.
The bottom line is the Logitech G Keyboards are known for their great performance and portability.
The HTC Vive Tracker
The Vive tracker is a special tracking device from HTC which enables us to bring any real world object into the virtual world. The tracker can be added to specially-designed physical accessories to bring the movement mappings into the VR experience.
The aim of the Vive tracker is to bring in more immersing realistic experience to VR. A single HTC Vive tracker is priced at $99.
Why the Bridge SDK was made?
The presence of the keyboard on the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality ecosystems is a critical part of enabling the web which is necessary for VR expansion. It is the situations where the keyboard was required to interact with the applications, especially in desktop scenarios, gaming scenarios which encouraged the team to study this possibility. The need for a physical keyboard is also essential to provide the user with immersive real like experience while gaming or communicating.
VR will take the keyboard experience to a completely new level all together. One can make simple to complex customizations on the keyboard, ranging from changing the fonts on the keys to changing the keyboard’s skin color, etc., can be customized to dynamically highlight shortcuts and commands, the possibilities are endless.
How the Bridge SDK was made?
After much survey of the community and getting to know their experience, the Logitech team collaborated with the likes of Autodesk, Virtual Desktop and BigScreen to come up with the SDK. With the SDK the HTC Vive Tracker could track and represent the keyboard on the Steam VR System. All one has to do is to turn on the tracker to see the virtual keyboard in any virtual reality application.
The team went above and beyond to even enable the tracker to scan the hands and show it in VR. This adds to the realistic feel and the real typing experience. The kit also allows the keyboard to be skinned in a variety of ways, letting developers make unique experiences.
About the Maker - Logitech
Logitech International S.A. is a Swiss company with its American headquarters in Newark and California. Famous for its computer mouse, the company is known for producing and marketing PC peripherals such as computer mice, keyboards, universal remotes, speakers and much more.
Logitech has been working closely with the HTC Vive team studying and exploring ways to improve the Virtual and Augmented Reality experience. As a result of this effort they have now come out with the Bridge SDK.
Bridge SDK’s Version and Release
The Bridge Kit in its current form is essentially a BETA version of the SDK and is primarily a Proof of Concept to encourage the developer community to work on it and give their feedback. The Logitech team is working on removing the robustness issues and other bugs.
The 50 first developer kits are free; if one has to purchase the kit then it is priced at $150.