Anything that can turn bananas into a piano keyboard has got to be worth my $35. MaKey MaKey--a Brangelina of Make + Key--elevates everyday objects to interactive touchpads for enhanced computer and Internet experiences. As accessible to beginners as experts, MaKey MaKey begs to turn art projects, engineering endeavors, and everyday forays into the black hole of Facebook into captivating ventures and proud expressions of individuality.
To use, launch a computer program or webpage that requires mouse and/or keypad interaction. Alligator clip objects to the USB-connected MaKey MaKey board to establish a connection. MaKey MaKey will make your computer think it's a regular keyboard or mouse, so you can then use the attached objects--bananas, paper drawings, action figures, dried fettuccine--as your navigators. Confused? Check out the video.
MaKey MaKey supports any object that can conduct electricity, as well as those that cannot on their own, but can if topped with a bit of copper tape, spritzed with water, or rubbed down with a banana. So far, Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum, inventors and PhD students at MIT's Media Lab, have also tested the likes of ketchup, pencil graphite, finger paint, Play Doh, and lemons.
So...MaKey MaKey is an all-ages tool--fun, expressive, and educational for adults and chillun' alike. Out of respect for its multi-generational appeal, we're not going to delve into its potential for lewd application. But you can....
OK, fine. Here's one idea.
Silver and Rosenbaum have already achieved resounding success with MaKey MaKey as a Kickstarter project. To get your hands on the inaugural kit release, head over to the site and make a $35 minimum pledge by June 12, 2012. Anticipated delivery date is August 2012. Higher level donations--ranging from $70 to $950--receive additional kits.
November 2013 Update: MaKey MaKey funding was successful. Follow the link below to buy yours now directly from the company's online store.