Thinkers, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers of all shapes and sizes are still trying to bring us useful, physical controllers for iPad and iPhone. We've seen a lot, over the years, but none have struck as novel as the one currently in an early development stage at Keio University in Japan. It's an analog stick similar to the Fling, except it uses the iPhone's front camera to control the action on the screen.

Here's what makes it possible, according to the following video from DigiInfo:

There are small markers in this elastic device and the markers are detected by this built-in front-facing mobile phone camera. By tracking how the markers move as the elastic device deforms, this system enables a variety of inputs. Basically, the system’s precision depends on hardware factors, like the camera resolution and refresh rate.

It's a neat idea, and while it has a couple of obvious issues working against it, we'd love to see this end up as an actual product. Who knows, maybe it'll catch on.

[via AppAdvice]

  • subshell001

    This idea is actually quite brilliant!

  • MadMilkMan

    It is a nifty idea, but very impractical.. Apple just needs a controller shell, one that you seat your iDevice in.. And then they need a few more games that aren't dumbed down like a lot of the Gameloft titles I love.. Because the interface to play these 3D games is the same screen used used to view the game the gameplay is limited by the controls...

  • 11LBG11

    Ingenious, yet ridiculous. 

    But I suppose there are some people out there who would buy it if it ever went into production.

  • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

    Clever idea.

  • Adams Immersive

    Wackiness! I like it.

    Then add a right stick, which could have tuning forks inside, with pitches interpreted by the mic. Like some really ancient acoustic remote controls used to use, or so I’ve read.