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Tag Archives: controllers

Access Common Shortcuts Using Hand Gestures, With Flow

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When you’re doing labour intensive work on the computer, be it CAD or Photoshop or even video editing, you come to learn all kinds of shortcuts by heart. It’s essential to establishing a good workflow. But despite your best efforts, the keyboard and mouse can still limit the things you can do, and that’s where Flow comes in. It has a multitude of sensors that detect your hand’s position with great precision, allowing you to control your applications the way you want to. See, aside from making it easy to use your hand, Flow is entirely customizable so that you can use any way you like. Currently, the developers have created gesture shortcuts for over 30 apps, like Autodesk (CAD software), RhinoCeros (3D CAD), YouTube, Spotify and many more. However, the shortcuts to each of these can be tailored to your needs, and there’s going to be support for even more apps as time goes on, so Flow gets progressively more useful. Finally, the open SDK means you can develop for Flow as well, paving the way for even more opportunities.

It’s a $99 pledge to get your own, with shipping in June 2015.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Deal Of The Day: 25% Off On NES30 Bluetooth Controller

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If you want to play games on your tablet or smartphone, you have two choices. Use the on-screen controls like a peasant. Or get yourself dedicated controller. The NES30 is as good as any, and some would argue even better since it’s shaped to look exactly like an NES controller of old. The only difference is it connects through Bluetooth and has reconfigurable buttons. Oh, and there are two additional action buttons and two shoulder buttons. Because, well, today’s games might need more than three buttons. But there you have it, for $29 you can party like it’s 1986.

[ Get The NES30 Bluetooth Controller! ]

Dexmo Exoskeleton Lets You “Feel” Virtual Objects

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With the success of the Oculus Rift, we’re currently seeing a renaissance of interest in virtual reality (yes, for you young’uns out there, were was a VR craze back in the mid-90’s). Not only are companies like Sony launching themselves into the fray, a ecosystem of VR-related peripherals is apparently being built. The Dexmo Exoskeleton by Dexta Technologies, pictured above, is a perfect example. It’s an input-output device that attaches to your fingers and wrists and not only tracks their position, but is able to stop their movement when the virtual object you’re trying to grasp is actually gripped, letting you actually feel it. It’s a force-feedback VR controller, basically, and yes, it’s probably not the first such device hitting the scene. It is, however, the first seemingly affordable one, with a basic input-only version going for a $65 pledge. The more complete version does cost a more hefty $159, but that’s still somewhat reasonable for what it is. There is a catch, however, and that’s the fact that only the index finger and thumb receive force feedback, allowing you to pinch, rather than properly hold objects. Perhaps 5-digit feedback will be included in the next generation of the device, but for the early adopters out there, Dexmo seems like a great way to expand your VR explorations.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

Old School Style NES30 Gamepad Works With Devices Today

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The time is 1985. You’ve just come back home from a gruelling day at kindergarten. You just want to unwind with a nice cup of milk and your favourite gaming system in front of you. That was bliss. Fast forward 30 years, and you sadly contemplate your modern life with all its stale responsibilities and obnoxious obligations. But for a few minutes a day, you can still relive some of that former glory. The NES30 gamepad pictured above is a 1:1 replica of the Nintendo Entertainment System controller from the 80’s. This one connects to several devices through Bluetooth, however, allowing you to game with more freedom than anyone can with the on-screen controls seen on most mobile device games. Ok, there are four extra buttons that weren’t part of the original, so exact faithfulness was overlooked in favour of modern usability. But it’s still a pretty good approximation to what the original looked like. The battery will last 20 hours between charges, and it will work with just about any device capable of playing games, except consoles. It’ll cost you $40 to own.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Addicted To Reddit? Don’t Cure It, Enable It!

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There are worse ways to waste your life away than by browsing Reddit 25 hours a day. Others feel the same, so that’s why we’re not even a bit surprised to read about the Karma Controller DIY Reddit Interface Device. It’s an assemble-at-home kit containing a controller board, switches, buttons and other parts that eventually turn into a gamepad of sorts, with which you control Reddit. What can you do? “Upvote, downvote, select posts, toggle images, and open & close comment tabs,” which makes browsing the site “like a videogame.” You do have to have the open source Reddit Enhancement Suite installed on your browser, but it’s free anyway. The kit however isn’t, although it’s pretty cheap, at $30.

[ Product Page ]

Control Your Computer With The Electricity In Your Arm

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The MYO Armband is yet another entrant in the gesture control field. Crowded by the likes of Microsoft’s Kinect, or the vastly more promising Leap Motion Controller, the MYO uses innovative new technology to interface with you. It’s kind of interesting and could actually give it an advantage over the other ones. Instead of using image recognition, the MYO has a sensor to detect the electrical impulses in the muscles of your forearm. This, alongside a motion detector, allows the armband to resolve your hand and arm movements with extreme precision, down to the individual fingers. It may even seem at times that your finger twitch is detected even before you’ve actually done so: this is because the muscles are activated slightly before your fingers actually start moving, and the MYO picks the signal up first.

So what can you do with it? That’s still in development. There’s going to be an API, and it will work with PCs and Macs, but the specific kinds of things you can do is up in the air. We’re thinking mouse replacement, but of course it’s much more than that. 3D model manipulation, gaming… If done right, the possibilities are, as they always say, endless. The best part is the price: $149, to be released late this year. And yes, you can pre-order now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

60beat GamePad Controller For iDevices

By David Ponce

The thing about gaming is that so much is riding on the controller. Just think about the fundamental differences between PC vs. console gaming, and the advantages a mouse and keyboard can give you over a console controller. The same is true when you move into devices who weren’t created with gaming in mind, but who later discovered a healthy market for it, like the iPhone. There’s no denying that pressing a flat, feedback-less screen is not ideal for gaming. So that’s why we like the GamePad from 60beat. It plugs right into the audio jack of your iDevice and gives you 2 analog sticks, 1 D-pad and 10 action buttons (2 on the joysticks). It needs no batteries since it draws power from the device.

The only problem is the current number of compatible games: 2. Two games! So yeah, it’s great and all, but not very useful unless the company manages to get more developers to include code in their games that takes this particular controller into account. Still, it’s $50.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

This Slot Car Set Is Controlled With Your Mind

By David Ponce

Seriously. The folks at B-Reel have taken a Mindwave headset from Neurosky, a Scalectrix slot car set, a bunch of other parts and hacked together a way to control the cars with your mind. And it works! Concentrate means go, get distracted means stop.

What if you could run a slot car race using your brain? We did a bit of research on this and it didn’t take long to realise we already have all we need to make these ideas come to life; we just needed to connect the dots and find an easier way to integrate different disciplines to make the magic happen.

These are the steps B-Reel went through:

– researched components and library we could have used

– procured a device that reads mind signals, a Scalextric, Arduino, some tools and electric components

– designed a small electronic circuit to connect Arduino to Scalextric

– wrote the Arduino script to control the Scalextric

– wrote a small Processing application to control the car with the computer mouse

– connected the brain reader device signal to the Scalextric

But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. So do yourself a favor and watch the above video. It’s mostly towards the end that you start seeing the guy actually voluntarily controlling the car, starting and stopping at will. Awesome stuff.

[ Slot Car Set Controlled With The Mind ] VIA [ Medgadget ]