If you’re a hardcoregamer and you’ve always felt like your and could use some hardware button love in certain games (*cough*shooters and platforms*cough*), you should take a look at this new Kickstarter project by a Chicago-based startup called Joytstickers, which aims at improving the quality of your gaming by putting physical buttons on the shiny glass surface of your iOS device of choice.
Question is: how? The Classic, a product that’s been in development for 9 months, is a set of buttons that can stick to an iPhone’s screen thanks to a special “micro-suction cup material imported from Japan” that’s invisible to the naked eye but allows the material to stay put on the screen without damaging it or leaving any sign of attachment. As you can see in the promo video, they really just stick. The reason why Joystickers is doing this is to overcome the lack of tactile feedback when playing iOS games. Personally, I can say this sounds extremely good for games like Pizza Boy or shooters that require a “fixed” control position on a glass screen that, admittedly, doesn’t usually make gamers so excited. The only major problem for now is that there’s no solution for directional (D-Pad) controls, meaning that you’ll either have to stick 4 buttons on screen and forget about diagonal input or just use a Classic for non-directional virtual buttons.
The joysticks — the inventors call them the Classic — are held onto your iPhone,, iPad or Android device with micro suction cups that won’t damage your screen. Joystickers founder and engineer Anthony Cerra says the special sucker for the Classic is imported from Japan. According to Cerra, “Every detail of this product was custom manufactured to our specification — even the spring.” The spring itself is manufactured in Chicago and is designed for long-lasting durability.
Joystickers is looking for US$25,000 in funding by March 24, which will pay for injection molding production for the Classic and a stylus and paintbrush that they’ve designed. A $30 donation will get you a pair of Classics when production starts in May.[via MobileCrunch]