Sure, your laptop probably has a touchpad and your tablet certainly has a touchscreen. But Sensel thinks there’s a market for a better touchpad.
The Sensel Morph is a large, pressure-sensitive touch surface that you can use to tap, click, or swipe. But you can also turn the touchpad into a keyboard, a painter’s canvas, or a musical instrument just by placing an “Overlay” on the surface.
That’s why it’s called the Morph… because it’s easy for the touchpad to morph into something else.
Sensel is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to bring the Morph to market. The company had a rather modest $60,000 goal. The project surpassed that goal in about three hours.
Prices start at $249 for a Sensel Morph plus 3 Overlays. Options include keyboard, piano, music production controller, gamepad, drum pad, art, and “Innovator’s kit (with support for custom interfaces).
Eventually we could see additional Overlays, but the starter options are pretty interesting, since they let you do things you’d normally need dedicated hardware for. Use the Art overlay, for example, and you can use a paintbrush. Add a piano, drum, or digital music overlay and you can create music with your fingertips.
Most of the technology is actually built into the Morph itself, which has 20 thousand sensor elements capable of detecting 4096 levels of force (from 5 grams to 5 kilograms). But the overlays provide tactile feedback, so you feel like you’re actually typing, playing piano, or pressing buttons on a game controller.
Overlays are thin and flexible and snap into place using magnets, so you shouldn’t have to worry about them sliding off.
You can use the Morph with a computer, tablet, or Arduino device and it connects to your device with a microUSB cable, Arduino developer cables, or via Bluetooth. The device supports Windows, OS X, Linux, and iOS.