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HapticKey

HapticKey is a simple utility application for MacBook with Touch Bar that triggers a haptic feedback when tapping Touch Bar.

Since Touch Bar is just a flat panel, there is no feedback other than a visual change of the key displayed, it is terribly uncomfortable especially when tapping ESC key, like while using Vim.

By adding a haptic feedback, which is vibrating a trackpad not Touch Bar itself, it helps to improve the usage of Touch Bar. It is also optionally playing a sound effect or flashing the screen like a visual bell on a terminal.

Usage

Download the latest pre-built application binary from Releases page. Note that these pre-built application binaries are not signed so you need to allow to execute it on Security & Privacy settings pane in System Preferences.

Also, the application may ask a permission to use Accessibility, as like the other applications that are listening system events.

Build

To build the application from the source code, you need to use the latest Xcode 11.

Simply use make to install all dependencies, build application binary, then archive it in build/HapticKey.xcarchive/Products/.

$ make

Development

Dependencies

A bootstrap make target installs all dependencies from CocoaPods.

$ make bootstrap

This target uses a wrapper script scripts/pod, which uses system /usr/bin/ruby to create an isolated RubyGems environment under project directory, then install Bundler, install CocoaPods and finally install dependencies.

Once it’s ready, you can open HapticKey.xcworkspace to build the application.

Overviews

This application is using CGEventTap to listen key down and up or tap events on Touch Bar.

It triggers haptic feedbacks by using private APIs in MultitouchSupport.framework when the event meets the conditions.

Currently, the application is listening either ESC and F1, F2, etc. keys or tap events on Touch Bar. You can implement your own HTKEventListener to extend the application to trigger feedbacks on arbitrary events.

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