We were introduced to Sensel’s Morph all-in-one input controller a couple years back as it navigated its way through successful crowdfunding campaigns and significant enhancements in development. It is described as a “revolutionary” input device that can seamlessly morph to meet your creative needs at any given moment. The keyboard meets drum pad meets gaming controller system has now been finely-tuned and is finally ready to be released to the wild…
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Essentially what we are looking at here is a small keyboard-sized pressure sensitive pad that uses a series of silicone Overlays and the SenselApp software to alter its functionality. Morph uses a Pressure Grid to detect everything from basic finger taps to a stylus or paint brush and drum sticks. It has over 20,000 sensors with 32,000 levels of pressure “per contact” and carries a USB rechargeable battery so it can run wherever you are.
The connectivity is pretty impressive here as well. With Bluetooth LE, USB, and Serial options, it will work with Mac, iOS, Android, Windows and Linux.
While it can be used as a large multi-touch track pad or painting surface just on its own, there are 10 specifically designed Morph Overlays available as well. You can expect QWERTY, AZERTY and DVORAK keyboards as well as pianos, drum pads, general MIDI controller layouts, video editing surfaces and more.
There is also the transparent Innovator’s Overlay which is designed to allow users to create a customized work surface specialized to a particular project or process. And for those looking to take it even further, the $19 Developer’s Cable allows Morph to connect with any UART-supported circuit board (Arduino and Raspberry Pi).
While it is hard to pry writers, producers and video editors away from their current input method of choice, Morph is certainly making a case here. The ability to create a customized control surface, or better yet, several of them to accomodate certain situations at a moment’s notice sounds like a great idea to me. While it the system’s ability to adapt to everyone’s individual needs remains to be seen, the folks at Sensel look to have considered just about all of the possibilities here.
The Morph gave me an injection of imagination. It was a blank canvas for me to design on which is something other devices don’t offer…I was able to pull out the exact parts I loved from other designs – the 4×4 grid, knobs, faders, piano keys and shortcuts – to develop a unique design that had everything I needed, but still compact enough to use anywhere.
The Sensel Morph touch-pad is available now for $299. As mentioned before, each of the Overlays will run you an extra $35, but if you add 3 of them to your cart with the Morph right now, you’ll get one of the Overlays free. That’s much more than your average keyboard and even some MIDI controllers, but the pricing seems to be on par with the device’s versatility.