ButtonPad & PuckControl

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The ButtonPad and the PuckControl were developed to explore the capabilites of the standard computer mouse in augmenting the interaction experience with any audio or video software.

The PuckControl is a sturdy knob, consisting of a ball bearing mounted ice hockey puck on a massive wooden housing. The rotation of the puck is read by the sensor of an optical mouse and transformed into OSC and MIDI messages by custom software.

This makes it the ultimate jog shuttle controller. It can also be used simply to play Pong, as we did here.

As the PuckControl’s possible sidekick, or as standalone controller, the ButtonPad provides a multi-button interface similar to the popular monome controller, but augmented with RGB-LEDs.

The buttons are connected to the computer via an Arduino microcontroller board inside a heavy housing that was CNC-milled from fine wood. The ButtonPad also speaks MIDI and OSC, so that it can be hooked up to virtually any audio- or video editing application.

Custom driver software also allows the ButtonPad to be used in conjunction with a normal mouse, to speed up repetitive user interaction sequences on large computer screens. In this mode, each button on the pad is associated with a correspondingly colored cursor overlay. Each cursor overlay can be positioned with the standard mouse. On pressing one of the buttons, a mouse click event is actuated at the screen position of the cursor overlay, without the user having to move the mouse.

This enables the user to quickly set up temporary visual shortcuts that provide quick access to the functionality of many 3rdparty audio, video or image editing applications. It also helps to navigate the screen real-estate more quickly by minimizing mouse travel distances on large displays.

late 2009