Photokina 2014 highlights

Controller

The front view of the new Pioneer WeGo2 DJ controller with an iPad

Pioneer, a company that makes all kinds of audio equipment, is bringing a new system to market aimed squarely at budding disc jockeys with iPhones and iPads. The new model, called the DDJ-WeGo2 is actually an updated version of the DDJ-WeGo, and it comes with some pretty slick new features, most important of which is the way it interfaces with iOS devices for quicker access to music and smoother mixing.  Read More

Today Microsoft's 'Major Nelson' and Xbox accessories manager Zulfi Alam took us on a tour...

When a new game console launches, there's naturally a lot of focus on the features of the system itself, like graphics, raw horsepower, and motion control. But you can't forget about the part that's going to sit in your hand for hours on end: the controller. Microsoft doesn't want us to forget that either, as we can see in this 7-minute video detailing the "40+ improvements" to the Xbox One's controller.  Read More

The Spine digital music instrument (Photo: Vanessa Yaremchuk)

For the last three years, a small research team at McGill University has been working with a choreographer, a composer, dancers and musicians on a project named Instrumented Bodies. Three groups of sensor-packed, internally-lit digital music controllers that attach to a dancer's costume have been developed, each capable of wirelessly triggering synthesized music as the performer moves around the stage. Sounds are produced by tapping or stroking transparent Ribs or Visors, or by twisting, turning or moving Spines. Though work on the project continues, the instruments have already been used in a performance piece called Les Gestes which toured Canada and Europe during March and April.  Read More

The TouchKeys system brings multitouch sound control to piano-style keyboards

The TouchKeys multitouch musical keyboard comprises capacitive sensing strips stuck to the upper surface of each key, circuit boards housed within the host instrument that collect all the sensor data, and some custom software running on a connected computer. The system can be paired with any software or synthesizer capable of understanding MIDI or OSC, with the movement of the fingers controlling the kind of sounds produced. Dr Andrew McPherson now plans to make the fruits of this university research project available to other musicians by offering self-install TouchKeys kits to crowdfunders.  Read More

Muku Labs' Shuttr (Photo: Gizmag)

Hong Kong's Muku Labs has launched a Kickstater campaign for its news gadget, the success of which suggests there's a thirst for remote camera shutter controls for iPhone and Android handsets. Gizmag goes hands on with a pre-production prototype of the thin and compact Shuttr to see whether the excitement is justified.  Read More

The Pinoccio ecosystem aims to provide 'a complete ecosystem for building the Internet of ...

Pinoccio is a new Internet of Things-friendly microcontroller designed to get home-brew electronics projects talking to the internet and, usefully, each other. Pinoccios come with or without Wi-Fi capability, but can wirelessly natter away with each other by low-power radio using mesh networking. And an in-built battery untethers your projects (hence the name, d'uh). Think of these as Arduino's roaming gossipy cousins, then.  Read More

Uni Sun, who performs as Omni Infinity, has launched a guitar-shaped digital controller/in...

After a fruitless search for a digital controller/instrument that would allow him to get closer to his audience, San Francisco digital music performer Omni Infinity decided to design and build his own. The guitar-shaped SPACEBASS:01 prototype can house a smartphone placed in the central "spaceport" for wireless touchscreen control of music and art software on a remote computer. There's another port above that can host a variety of third party MIDI modules, a button-packed 12-fret neck and a virtual whammy bar.  Read More

The Stinky Footboard is a foot-centric input device

Games have come a long way since the days of Pong and its knob controller. These days, some computer users aren't content even with a 101 key keyboard and mouse combo. This has led to input devices that attempt to bring feet into the mix, such as the SoftStep KeyWorx and Thanko USB Foot Switch. The latest foot-centric input device to catch our eye comes from Canada-based Stelulu Technology, whose Stinky Footboard is aimed at gamers for whom two hands just aren't enough.  Read More

The XOPAD for Android is a USB-based controller for Android phones

As smartphones become more akin to pocket-laptops, the evolution of mobile gaming is also forging ahead, going far beyond such classics as Tetris and Frogger. Yet touch screen control for complex gaming is inhibitive, and sometimes it’s just downright clumsy. XOPAD, a USB-based controller for Android phones, is looking to join a growing list of products that turn your smartphone into a fully-fledged hand-held gaming machine. The creators are also aiming to make it open-source for developers.  Read More

Two iPhone gaming cases are battling for your funding on Kickstarter

In just a few short years, mobile gaming has evolved from Doodle Jump to Game of the Year The Walking Dead. But one potential obstacle remains: touch screen controls. Many control pad accessories (like iControlPad and iCade) already exist, but they require you to lug around an extra accessory. Two current Kickstarter projects want to solve that problem with iPhone control pads that double as cases.  Read More

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