Last month, we looked at ZeroN – a sensor-tracking system that was developed at the MIT Media Lab by Jinha Lee, a Ph.D. student and research assistant.
MIT Media Lab students have caught our eye again – this time with an invention kit created by Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum. The two graduate students’ MaKey MaKey turns everyday objects into touchpads and even allows for interaction with online games. Using alligator clips and USB cables, MaKey MaKey is a printed circuit board with an ATMega32u4 micro controller running Arduino Leonardo firmware. According to Eric’s MIT page, it “uses the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol to communicate with your computer, and it can send keypresses, mouse clicks, and mouse movements”.This tool reminds us of the fun, creative, and family-friendly tone of The Fun Theory. Not only can users now substitute their keyboard for a handful of bananas, they can recreate an at-home version of our piano staircase, too. MaKey MaKey also holds appeal for educators and engineers – as one beta user points out, it has the potential to be used in schools when teaching children around how circuit boards work. From an advertising perspective, this tool will allow for personalized gaming functionalities and OOH installations on a highly customized level.
The prototype for MaKey MaKey was first created at the San Francisco Exploratorium two years ago, and will be available to the public later this year for US$35.
The One Thing is a result of the daily 10am meetings held in the DDB Canada offices, where our digital teams meet to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies.
Source: MIT Media Lab. Photo: MaKey MaKey.