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LittleChief
Apr 22, 2012, 07:36 AM
INTRODUCTION


Hey everyone! :) I thought Id take the time to post a little overview of an App project I was working on (back in 2010) after spotting a similar app featured on Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/18/bella-killerkeys-for-ios-hands-on/) the other day. This project took up a few months of my life so I thought Id share it - its a shame just to bury it in an archive somewhere!


THE PITCH

The app I conceptualized was called Input. I studied Film & Video Production at college and used a variety of jog wheels, controllers, color coded keyboards and mixers as Input devices for editing so I thought why not recreate them digitally. Youd have a versatile input tool that morphs to support the Mac app youre currently using.

iOS was actually designed with this concept in mind as Apple shunned the idea of fixed keyboards and claimed it was much smarter to allow the input device to change based upon your current task + you can add keys in software updates.

So my idea was to take that concept & run with it. Youd lay the iPad down in landscape mode and a receiver app installed on the Mac side would communicate which app is currently in focus on the Mac and the iPad would then present a series of inputs designed especially for that Mac app.

Input could morph in to a Mixer, Launcher, Instrument, Keyboard, Trackpad, GesturePad, Remote Control, Games Controller & much more..


SCREENSHOTS

Here are some screenshots from the original PDF (http://d.pr/f/NJiX) pitch document along with a couple of other mockups.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7066/7096024663_dcd4af9c05_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinheads/7096024663/)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7193/6949953478_069fb3e96c_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinheads/6949953478/)

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5040/7096025433_4e20ebc0b2_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinheads/7096025433/)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7119/6949954252_8e9af6f4f7_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinheads/6949954252/)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7204/7096026237_60d2f2eda7_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinheads/7096026237/)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7072/7096026577_aec5c83ee9_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinheads/7096026577/)

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5321/7096027007_599f1a9124_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinheads/7096027007/)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7045/7096024343_0cb6879f0e_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinheads/7096024343/)

OUTRO

The truth is Im a concepts guy (I have zero knowledge of programming and Im not really a designer although I think I have a keen eye for design so I try to work with that). I worked on this project with some really nice people in the USA who are REALLY good programmers but they were just too busy to help make this project a reality.

Does anyone here think the concept of Input is a good one? Is it still relevant? Would you use it? I still really like it and I hope to see someone bring this to life one day soon.



musty345
Apr 22, 2012, 07:44 AM
That looks incredible!

I can definitely see the use of that for any mac users, because I love being able to control my mac with my phone. I've only really done this with mobile mouse and real racing but it's always great fun.

The fact that you can utilise your touchscreen device, to control your non touchscreen mac is also great, and it's nice how you wouldn't have to spend money on physical input devices.

You should definitely continue with this.

JacaByte
Apr 22, 2012, 02:28 PM
This is a fascinating concept, I could really see it taking off. Its greatest potential would be including a developer SDK so that developers could make customized input layouts for their OS X apps, that way this app wouldn't be limited to controlling applications from Apple and popular applications such as Adobe Photoshop or MS Powerpoint.

In this case you could download add-ons for compatible OS X applications in the Input app. This way Input wouldn't suffer from bloat as its base of supported applications grew and users would have the ability to choose which applications to use Input with.

We need to find an excellent programmer/programming team to make this happen. This concept has the potential to become a very incredible app.

LittleChief
Apr 26, 2012, 06:25 AM
Thanks for the comments!! :) Hopefully someone will stumble across this thread and know what to do with it!! :p

If anyone needs any more info or wants to chat to me about this project etc etc... Send me a PM on here or email me at:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8163/7115358677_c497e0936a_m.jpg (http://www.littlechiefapps.com)

ekwipt
Apr 26, 2012, 08:01 AM
awesome idea, hope you patented it :apple: :(

LittleChief
Apr 26, 2012, 08:05 AM
No.. I didn't really 'invent' anything as such ;) It's all common sense IMO :) I'm happy for people to steal this idea or even better work with me on this project! I just want to see it on the App Store!

WRP
Apr 26, 2012, 08:15 AM
Pianists don't need to look down at their keyboard. Color coded editing keyboards work when you are a beginner but once you get to know everything I am just as fast at work without one than in my home edit suite with one.

I like the idea a lot but in reality it just isn't too useful without tactile feel, IMHO. And my reasoning for the tactile is because I used the vWave (http://www.tangentdevices.co.uk/products_vwave.asp) for ipad as a color control surface. It just didn't work. It was free and I loved the idea but jog wheels/track balls/sliders and such work on feel. I ended up having to throw away the idea of a free product and buy a $1500 control surface.

So, if you could get around that little hurdle this app could be amazing, but until we get responsive feedback I couldn't see this as a replacement for tools, just a toy to play with for the beginner.

my $.02

Macman45
Apr 26, 2012, 08:24 AM
^^^^

I have to concur...It does look slick though, and whilst I have a full size keyboard right next to me and hence it wouldn't really be much use to me, I am sure that if this was marketed properly (maybe as a teaching aid for music) it has definitely got potential.

OP: Good luck. I hope you get one of the DEVS here to help you out with it, the screenshots look great...well though out and easy to understand...Don't be disheartened by my comments....The majority here are not Pros!!!:)

LittleChief
Apr 26, 2012, 08:31 AM
Hey! I like/need criticism too!! :) I agree with the challenges you guys present but I feel there must be a way to overcome them ;) We could explore methods of adding finer/granular control to objects such as a secondary interface, a kind of popup overlay to try and help in some of these areas. Gestures can also be a big help when used correctly.

(Hopefully Apple will include some kind of next generation haptics technology at some point in the future too!!)

WRP
Apr 26, 2012, 09:22 AM
I know it sounds weird but how does the vibrate control in these devices work? Is it full on or full off or can you have varying degrees? Imagine the possibility to add slight vibration moving a slider a little bit and major vibration for a more massive change on something? It could add the sense of tactile feel without having it. Sure you still will have to look down and make sure your fingers are in the right place but at least it will have some sort of feedback system.

LittleChief
Apr 26, 2012, 09:32 AM
I know it sounds weird but how does the vibrate control in these devices work? Is it full on or full off or can you have varying degrees? Imagine the possibility to add slight vibration moving a slider a little bit and major vibration for a more massive change on something? It could add the sense of tactile feel without having it. Sure you still will have to look down and make sure your fingers are in the right place but at least it will have some sort of feedback system.

The iPad doesn't actually have any sort of haptic vibration at the moment unfortunately! There was a rumor floating around that Apple were working with a company on a more precise 'feel' technology though which would be very nice! http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/03/07/what-if-the-secret-feature-of-the-ipad-3-is-a-new-touch-feedback-technology/