Analog Joystick Works Via iPhone Camera

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZC8fX1HHx3A

The Fling controller from TenOne Design (soon to be reviewed) is a great way to add a physical to your iPhone or iPad, just by suction-cupping it onto the screen. This means that it works with any game on your iOS device that uses an on-screen “joystick.”

The downside is that it moves at the worst moments: I have wiped out in more than one GTA car chase this way. But designers at the Keio University in Japan have come up with another idea. A joystick which uses the iPhone’s camera as a controller.

The idea is as clever as it is simple. The device clips onto the iPhone, over the front-facing camera. On the bottom, it has markings which can be tracked as the joystick moves, letting the game know exactly where the joystick is.

The downside is that game developers have yet another control scheme to support. But the good news is that this works as a fully analog, three-axis controller. And you could also put one around the back, either as a secondary stick, or just to keep it off the front of the iPhone. Here’s how it works:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VWtUSoBqdVo

I have now become pretty good as using on-screen joysticks for controlling games, and these days I usually just play games that are designed for a touch screen. But for retro classics like Street Fighter 2, you can’t really beat the feel of the real thing. Hopefully the researchers behind this project will step up and get it onto Kickstarter.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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