Make + Key + On the Go = Makey Makey GO!
Have you ever thought about turning a donut into a keypad, an apple into a drum, a JELL-O mold into a game controller? Or, how about capturing a slip ’n slide selfie or initiating a Skype call with your dog? As wild as some of those ideas may seem, they’re all now possible thanks to the newly-revealed Makey Makey GO.
Since its debut back in 2012, Makey Makey has become a household name among DIYers with their ATmega32U4 based circuit board and alligator clips, which have enabled users to turn practically anything into a touch-sensitive device. Now, the JoyLabz team has returned with the world’s first on-the-go invention kit — letting anyone invent anything from anywhere at anytime. Abiding by many of the same principles as the original kit (known as the “Classic”), GO also allows users to hook up multiple clips.
How it works is pretty straightforward, especially if you’ve ever used its larger sibling. The GO inserts directly into the USB port of any laptop (Mac, Windows, and Linux all supported), while its corresponding alligator clips are used to attach the board to the objects of choice. Once a user taps the items, input is relayed over to the computer, which identifies the Makey Makey unit as a generic USB keyboard or mouse.
“For example, a banana. When you touch the banana the Makey Makey GO sends the computer a keyboard or mouse message. The computer just thinks Makey Makey GO is a regular keyboard or mouse. Therefore it works with all programs and webpages, because all programs and webpages take keyboard and mouse input,” JoyLabz writes.
The thumbdrive-shaped gadget is compact enough to throw in any bag, pack into any bracelet or link to any keychain, while transforming ordinary things into Internet-connected touch pads while out and about. If a Maker has an idea that calls for more than one button, simply plug in another. What’s more, a pair of capacitive touch buttons can be found between the USB stick and the alligator clip attachment — one is a play button to activate the board, the other to switch the type of input to the computer.
“It’s a simple tool-slash-toy that allows beginners and experts to make countless art, music, engineering, and science projects. It comes ready to use out of the box with no setup and no installations,” its creators note. “We redesigned Makey Makey Classic to focus it down to its absolute bare essentials: a single capacitive sensor input with a single alligator clip that can pretend to be any key or a mouse click. Then we gave it a magnet, a keyring, and shrunk it down so small that it fits anywhere.”
Following in the footsteps of its older brother, the Makey Makey GO is just about ready to wrap up its incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, which has garnered over $175,000 — well over its initial goal of $10,000. Delivery is expected to begin in November 2015.