You may not need to buy a new Apple product to be able to use Force Touch-like technology with your devices.
A new gadget called the Sensel Morph promises to bring similar pressure-sensitive capabilities to PCs and tablets with its tablet-sized touchpad.
A touchpad measuring about 9 x 5 inches, the Sensel Morph is compatible with PCs (Windows and Mac) and iPads. When paired with a device, the Morph is able to act as the primary input method for that device, bringing its pressure sensitive capabilities with it. The use case can vary widely, but the device has already drawn many comparisons to Apple’s Force Touch technology, which changes the way you interact with apps based on the level of pressure you apply to a trackpad or touchscreen.
Where Sensel’s touchpad has potential to stand out is the sheer number of sensors embedded in the tablet-sized device. The Morph has “approximately 20,000 individual sensor elements,” according to the company, which is what enables the device’s extreme pressure sensitivity.
“It can detect anything from a feather-light tap to a hard push and everything in between (with over 4,000 detectable voltage levels),” the company says.
The Sensel Morph is sensitive enough to detect brush strokes from real paintbrushes.
Particularly intriguing are the device’s accompanying “overlay” accessories — magnetic covers that snap onto to the Morph to transform it into task specific tools like a piano, music production board, game controller or QWERTY keyboard.
The company is also offering its API for the Morph to developers who want to build the pressure data into their own apps and opening a contest for backers to create their own overlays.
The Morph, which debuted on Kickstarter Tuesday, has already met its $60,000 fundraising goal within a few hours of its launch. The device starts at $249 for Kickstarter backers of the project and the company says it expects to begin shipping the Morph by next June. Read more…