• 10.23.14

Snap These Dials Onto Your iPad For Tactile Modulation

Physical knobs are still more precise than fingers for some haptic feedback applications.

Snap These Dials Onto Your iPad For Tactile Modulation
[Photos: Courtesy of Florian Born]

Are we starting to miss something, as technology becomes virtually keyboard-less and button-free? Florian Born, a Berlin-based designer, thinks so.


“One particular thing of multi-touch devices is in need of improvement,” he writes. “It is the lack of haptic feedback, which makes it difficult to set parameters precisely. “

With Born’s Modulares Interface B.A., a typical multi-touch screen like the iPad can be transformed into a tactile, accurate, programmable, and responsive controller.

The device is comprised of a variety of physical knobs, which can be arranged on the screen inside a framing case, and snapped together with built-in magnets. Because they are made of conductive aluminum, the knobs pass an electrical discharge between the user’s skin and the screen, initiating haptic feedback. The individual functions and responses of the dials and nodules can be set on screen, with an app programmed in Cinder/C++. The screen then interprets the controls and relates the parameter data via OSC to corresponding applications on a computer.

Or, you know, just keep smearing your finger around a screen.

About the author

Brooklyn based curator, writer and reporter.