Google’s Gboard Keycap-Shaped Cap Goes On Your Head And Can Actually Type

There are innovations that strive to make life better, and then there are those designed for pure fun and giggles. Google Japan went unhinged with a 165-centimetre-long keyboard previously, but it somehow manages to top last year’s level of absurdity — on more ways than one.

The Gboard CAPS project is a keycap-shaped cap (or key-cap, as we like to call it) that goes on top of one’s head, much like every piece of headwear. Here’s the kicker, though: it can actually type, all while protecting wearers from rain and shine.

As explained by the announcement video, the gag hat boasts a six-axis inertial sensor that detects its positioning. Turning it from side to side brings up the character codes, each represented by a different angle. To enter the character, users will have to press down on the cap, which has 20 mm of travel. The keystroke is then sent to a computer, smartphone or other host devices via Bluetooth.

“Aiming for the top we’re always brainstorming for better text input. As I was racking my barins for a way to make keyboards more portable and fashionable, I had an aha moment. (…) That’s when we developed this wearable keyboard,” said the team. It’s utterly hilarious, and we’re all for it.

Google’s latest DIY innovation isn’t for sale. Instead, enthusiasts will have to rely on blueprints on GitHub for an authentic creation of the hat using a 3D printer. A production guide is also available for those who prefer the old-school combination of just cardboard and scissors. And yes, the Gboard CAPS can be charged with everyone’s favourite connector, USB-C.

Google Japan Gboard CAPS

Moving forward, Google Japan is looking to release different designs for the hat to fit various occasions. For instance, its blog post imagines it with a smartphone case, built-in display, and solar power capabilities — a hat trick in our books.