November 25, 2013

Beyond touch: inFORM tactile interface

One of the biggest differences in MIDI controllers out there is the way that their buttons work and feel, after all, it doesn’t work without you touching it and pressing buttons.  Depending on what you uses are for a MIDI controller, you might be gently pressing buttons to activate a clip in advance, or you are using it like a drum machine with active one-shots.  The trouble with many of the MIDI controllers is that their buttons cannot be used for all things at once.  If they are very sensitive to the touch and velocity sensitive, they cannot take a beating like a button on an Akai MPC.

What if the buttons conformed to your fingers instead?  This way there would be very little movement required by the user to activate a note.  Tactile technology is already here, but we have yet to find a good use for it.  There are cellular phones that transform a flat screen into a type-able keyboard using this adaptive technology.   If it were around in I’m certain that it would not be cheap.  Once this technology is used in other products, it might mean cheaper building costs for its use in instruments and toys.