When we saw the folks at MaKey MaKey playing piano notes using a set of bananas at Toy Fair 2014, we knew we had to stop by the company's booth. MaKey MaKey is a $49 invention kit that connects your PC to any object and turns it into a controller for any software that uses a keyboard and mouse. After spending some hands-on time with MaKey MaKey, we were impressed by how easy it was to make cool gadgets out of household objects.
The MaKey MaKey itself is a small red and white circuit board that brings the classic Nintendo Entertainment System controller to mind. The device sports directional inputs, as well as inputs for space and click.
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To get the controller up and running, you use one of the included wires to connect a specific button, such as left or right, with an object of your choice. The MaKey MaKey kit includes connector wires for conductive materials, and alligator clips for non-conductive ones. Once MaKey MaKey is connected to your objects and plugged into your PC via the included USB cable, you're free to start having some fun.
Thanks to the system's open-ended structure, there are a limitless amount of use cases for this nifty kit. Aside from the banana-piano demonstration we tried out, some other examples provided by the company include a game of "Super Mario Bros." being played with Play-Doh and a custom keyboard made out of alphabet soup.
MaKey MaKey, currently available on the creator's website, is an exciting way for both novice and expert engineers to make PC controllers out of just about anything. We look forward to spending more time with the kit, as well as seeing what the MaKey MaKey community comes up with as more users get their hands on it.