The joystick was a fun tool to use for gaming for a while, then the console controller became the commonplace. For PC gaming, the mouse and keyboard have always done the job just fine. When playing Angry Birds however, the mouse and keyboard might not be good enough... at least to a couple of students from Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Hideaki Matsui and Andrew Spitz have created their own controller for the popular mobile and desktop game.
Itís quite the interesting little piece of hardware. It is nothing that you would expect to connect to a computer, just because of the way it looks, however it appears to be really cool to use. The long piece is made to resemble the slingshot that launches the bird toward the pigs and the user needs to pull the bird back and simply launch it to enact the same action in the game on the screen. The piece of hardware can detect its position in space to launch the bird at specific angles, as demonstrated in the video below:
The other piece of hardware is a ĎTNTí box, which when the handle is pushed down, the special effect of the bird being thrown across the screen is activated. For example, the blue bird will separate into three birds Ė covering more area and the yellow bird will become very strong against wooden structures.
These controllers are certainly not as practical to use as a mouse might be, just because of the fact that the mouse is a single tool and the custom hardware that has been developed is a set of two tools. The two tools mean that the user needs to rush between tools to perform actions, which fighting against time, could be too late. With a mouse, the userís hand is already on the control device and the user can easily toggle a birdís special ability without needing to move his or her hand.
The device is a wonderful proof of concept project by the two students and it has some very complex technology behind it:
Originally Posted by Students