WTF Is This: Banana Keyboards
When I got up this morning On no morning have I ever gotten up and expected to have an article containing the words “MIT Media Lab” to make me immediately flash back to Freddy Got Fingered, but this business over on Gizmag did the trick.
For those of you a little too busy/lazy to read the linked article on Gizmag, here’s the long and short of it: using a pre-printed Arduino board with 6 inputs for alligator clips and a micro-USB output, you can use basically any electrically conductive matter to control your WASD, spacebar and left/right mouse buttons. If you’re feeling particularly hackerish*, there are an additional 12 inputs on the back so you can map other mouse and keyboard functions to sausages, hunks of quartz and plush Om Noms**.
Sure, I’m willing to own up that I thought, “Gee, this is pretty cool,” until I saw the banana keyboard. There are just some things that are against nature, God, the Force and the FSM, and turning bananas into musical instruments is one of them. That said, for $35, I might just be interested in mapping my WASD + spacebar to other things, say, things that are more resistant to cat vomit than my Xbox controller. Like flatware. Or a saline-soaked athletic sock wrapped in gaffer tape.
While I’m convinced that Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum (the inventors of the MaKey MaKey) are mad geniuses, it is somewhat comforting to hear that they’ve decided to use their power for good…or at least something not objectively evil, since any invention that can use Play-Doh to control Mario cannot be evil (excepting the banana thing). Plus there are the magic words “open source” and “Arduino,” which make me feel like I’ve been wrapped in a warm, fuzzy nerd blanket.
Still, be on the lookout for musical bananas. You never know when there’s a group of them getting ready to play Cajun zydeco at you out of a dark alley.
* Hackerish in the good, building things sense, not the douchbag, ruining games and the interwebs sense.
** Note: Effectiveness of Om Nom as a Binding of Isaac controller has not been confirmed.
WTF Is This - It’s weird, it’s game related, you should probably look away, but we’re going to look at it anyway.