Roger Linn used to have a great demo on his page showing him playing a prototype Linnstrument using only a sawtooth wave with a lowpass filter, and it sounded more expressive than many top of the line physical modeling synths, because the dimensions of control were so impactful.
That said, the Photoshop example you give seems a little bit of a stretch. The Wacom tablet is a wonderful piece of human interface for Photoshop that addresses many of your concerns, and many other concerns, and has existed for years. For example, some Wacom pens have a ring on them that you can use to change brush sizes.
Livid Alias 8
Livid DS 1
Nektar Panorama P1
MIDI Fighter Twister
Behringer B-Control Rotary BCR2000
The last one is about seventy bucks and gives you eight independent knobs and eight pads.
Of course, there's value in minimalism and a good UX for configuring/programming the knob(s), but there's also something to be said for just trying to solve the problem yourself based on what's currently available. If a $70 MIDI controller makes your Photoshop experience noticeably better, great. If not, a single knob might not end up being worth it either, regardless of how well-made it is.
For example 3dconnexion has a 'SpaceNavigator' available for around $120
brush size? even faster than flow is alt+pen right click and hover pen on tablet.
I would thin it would be really neat music controller. I could see use in there(specially in party's)
Not sure a majority of the developers I know would be able to be as dainty with something like this. Most type with heavy hands, beat up their mouse on a regular basis and have many keyboard shortcuts to reduce dev time in their Adobe programs.
For these people, using something which looks and is demonstrated as being very delicate, would not last long in their hands.
Having said that, how durable is this?
A couple of questions, if you don't mind:
* Roughly how heavy is it? For physical objects like knobs, I like a bit of heft. Not as big a deal here as in a SpaceNavigator where it's pushing back instead of spinning freely, but I'm curious.
* Specs mention a 4 month battery life. Is that a AAA where I can use a rechargeable, or some sort of button cell? Or not yet finalized?
* How does software support work? I see it has smooth brush size control in Photoshop, but can I expect it to work that well in less common software like Leonardo or Mischief? Or will it have to be bound to keyboard shortcuts that change things in large steps like the square brackets in Photoshop?
For the slip resistant material, I don't know if it exists, but something that isn't a dust magnet would be great. I've noticed with my SpaceNavigator that the ring of rubber on the bottom tends to accumulate dust and start slipping until I wipe it down periodically. Again a bigger deal for them, since their 6-axis devices include pushing sideways as an input.
As far as software support, Mischief does 1px increments with , so that one's easy. And open source programs like GIMP and Blender could always be modified if needed. So I guess I'm not too worried about software.
This is a kind of niche thought, but I wonder if I could suction cup it to the back of a Surface Pro. I tend to sketch with the tablet in my lap and no good place to set a Flow. Chairs with no tables, flopped on couches, etc.
Went ahead and backed it! The $20 worldwide shipping is a bummer, but I'm glad it's been priced into it. IIRC that's one of the big problems that Apollo Pens ran into.
Looks like a more flexible (and wireless) version of Griffin's PowerMate.
I used to use the wired version of this one. More specialized for 3D navigation, but pretty configurable, just like the rest.
It's a fairly different piece of equipment though, I'd compare the SpaceNavigator to a joystick or thumbstick (with 4 extra degrees of freedom) moreso than a knob, despite looking like one. I've never had much luck getting a balance of speed and accuracy with it, movement either feels slow, or you crank the sensitivity up and it becomes hard to do small motions accurately. Kind of like a gamepad as compared to a mouse; you have a quarter inch of motion and a few degrees of tilting to work with, and you can't map all of the different speeds you'd like to move at into that space.
I like knobs because they allow for a great mix of speed and precision. I know what half a turn does on my computer's volume knob, and I can do it a lot faster than "push the spacenavigator sideways a bit, hold it there until the volume is where I want it, then let go."
Which isn't to say the SpaceNavigator is a bad device. It just serves a different purpose.
IMO Flow's biggest competitor is the touch wheel on Wacom's Intuos line. Among professionals who spend time in Photoshop, they're extremely common. No such wheel on a Surface though, and having a few shortcuts that I can map without hooking up the keyboard would be a nice addition. Hoping this pans out!
And about FCC. This article explains it pretty well: https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/398
Could you please point me to EMV for Germany? I've never heard of it before and am fairly certain CE covers Germany as well as all of Europe.
Do you mean TUV by any chance?
I've never heard anyone refer to it as EMV. Is this perhaps a German language thing? Does Electro Magnetic Compatibility translate to EMV in German?!
EMV is Euro-Mastercard-Visa. :)
When you said "a German thing" earlier I thought you meant there is a specific standard for Germany called EMV. I was so confused.
I will just add one slight tip if I may. The first two sentences of this page don't really explain what the product is:
"We (YC S13) just launched our product “Flow” on Indiegogo. It’s a programmable and intuitive wireless controller that that gives you high precision and speed."
I was left wondering what it was a controller of? An RC plane? A games console? Industrial machinery? Just add "controller for your computer" and it'll read a lot better. It's not helped by the fact that the gif below only shows a hand waving over a circular thing with no visible feedback from a computer screen ;)
This one appears to be different by allowing functionality to be extended more easily via programming. 3dconexion spacemouse for example is not that easy to interface although 3rd party programs like Glovepie do allow interfacing via simple scripts.
Wacom tablets would seem to be the most obvious existing product out there in a similar space - simple scripting can interface Wacoms with other apps like music players, so perhaps this new device isn't necessary.
Users in the video are interacting delicately, this looks like a problem - when you are zipping through interactions to achieve tasks (especially when they are repetitive) you want to be able to have good repeatability. Delicate movements here are your enemy.
I guess the TLDR of my comment is that nothing out there really solves all the issues out of the box and this one might not either unless it can build an ecosystem of drag and drop scripts for people to use for their day to day tasks.
edit: interestingly in the list of "requirements" (para 2.) the ease of installing new abilities or scripts or whatever extensions is not listed other than "it has to work with the tools we use" and in the "developers" section it should mention an "app store" otherwise no-one's gonna find that awesome Photoshop extension for it.
At first I thought it would be movable and contain an optical mouse tracker underneath it, but was disappointed to see it's basically a trackpad with a wheel and a gesture sensor.
Maybe it'll work good for many apps, but it seems every time I see something that tries to improve on the old mouse, it ends up looking worse, at least for my use case.
I hope this thing will succeed, but I can't imagine what the exact market is or whether its big enough to sustain this project.
I feel the same way and have enough spare cash to back it. Twald's explanation makes some sense, but really I think this is the essential part: "That means that we can explore completely new user interfaces, ones that are perfectly designed for the person and their needs," because I translate it to mean, "We don't entirely know what'll end up happening."
I'm happy existing in that state of ambiguity, however, and for $100 it seems worthwhile to find out what the future might hold.
It's amazing how much functionality you can eke out of such a simple input device.
It's made me consider other purpose-built init devices (like some of the midi controllers mentioned earlier). I have a Native Instruments controller designed for one of their massive sample libraries that I'd love to hack as a general purpose programmer's helper.
Anyone have any experience with such devices? What other clever uses of these alternate input devices am I missing out on?
"changes in position are measured by sensing the scattered laser light which is reflected by an object."