MaKey MaKey is a set of components that turns almost any object into an input tool, allowing users to invent their own devices.
It’s not just smartphone screens that can be used as touch-based sensors – as we’ve recently seen with On/Off paint, enabling homeowners to control electric appliances such as lights without the need for switches. Using similar technology, MaKey MaKey is a set of components that turns almost any object into an input tool, allowing users to invent their own devices. Having already easily passed its funding goal on Kickstarter, the kit consists of crocodile clips, a USB cable and pre-built chip board. One of the crocodile clips is connected to the user and the other to any object (providing it is able to conduct a very small amount of electricity – the developers suggest any types of metal, anything wet, food, animals and even people). The chipboard is then connected to a computer via the USB cable and depending on how the circuit is set up, touching the object performs an action on the computer. Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum, who are both currently researching at the Michigan Institute of Technology, have already come up with light-hearted suggestions such as a play dough games controller, an alphabet spaghetti keyboard and a banana piano (using one piece of fruit for each key), although it is easy to see how more practical innovations could come into being once the kit is in the hands of the public. The set is available to pre-order on Kickstarter for USD 35, or USD 45 to include international shipping. The video below offers a demonstration of the product: MaKey MaKey provides both novices and experts with the technology to turn anything into a digital switch or controller, empowering innovators and providing a tool for educative purposes. One for inspiration! Spotted by: Katherine Noyes