Modular Interfaces for musicians: 2 ways to upgrade your iPad

Multi-touch devices like the iPad have become more and more popular over the last couple of years. Nowadays they are not only used for browsing and sending e-mails, but also as a medium for new fields of applications. One particular thing of multi-touch devices is in need of improvement: It is the lack of haptic feedback, which makes it difficult to set parameters precisely.

Modulares Interface by Florian Born

These controllers expand the usage of a touch device with a haptic feedback while adjusting parameters.
By using magnets, the different controllers can easily be arranged onto the iPad. A modular interface appears, which uses a given device just like the iPad.

The system contains three different parts:
– The physical controllers (button, slider and knob), made out of conductive aluminium to pass on the electrical discharge of the human skin.

– A frame, made out of aluminium and plastic, in which the iPad is inserted. The edge of the frame has embedded magnets, making it possible to position the controller precisely and easily.

– The software, running as an app on the iPad. It organizes the control elements and sends the parameters to the corresponding software, which is controlled by the modular interface.
The controllers are made of aluminium because of its property to forward electrical charge. Therefore, the electrical discharge of the human skin can be transmitted to the touchscreen of the iPad.
To prevent the control devices from screeching the display, a piece of conductive foam is used on the end of each controller.
An app programmed in Cinder/C++ is running on the iPad. It manages the individual setup of the controllers and reads their input on the touchscreen. The app then transfers the information via OSC to a connected application.

Tuna Knobs, Physical control knobs for your touchscreen by Tunadjgear

A Stylus in the shape of knob, with a small axis in the middle and a suction cup on the bottom. Made to control (music) apps with virtual knobs on every touchscreen device.

So Tuna Knobs stick to your touchscreen using a micro suction cup and translate a turning movement to a touch command. Simply stick them on your screen and you are ready to start twiddling away. The Knobs use conductive rubber to translate turning a knobs into the right signal for your touchscreen, not dissimilar to how a stylus works. Tuna Knobs are produced by Tuna DJ Gear, funded by Kickstarter and can be bought online.

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