In the physical world, our hands are the tools with which we feel and manipulate the world around us, having evolved over time to be regions of intense sensitivity and masterful precision. Our leap into the digital realm hasn’t been as smooth, though. While the keyboard and mouse combo has admirably pulled its weight over the years, the increasing complexity and changing functionality of the programs we use daily have plainly shown that another way of controlling is possible. With the Flow wireless controller, Senic shows that it’s thinking of a future where the digital can be as easily controlled as anything physical.
Flow is a stylish, aluminum puck-shaped device that offers gesture, touch, scroll, and haptic control all in a tiny package. With it, users will be able to access a larger ranger of precision not offered by traditional mouse inputs and the shortcuts that make work much easier. Programs like Spotify and Photoshop let users change what each input does, so what a pass of the hand will do in one will do something entirely different in the other, eliminating hunting after specific options in menus. It’s also freely programmable, so any program not currently supported can be addressed by the Flow community. Puzzlingly, Flow is Mac only for now, but the rest of the major platforms are in the works. The $99 Flow is expected to ship in July 2015. Flow is looking for $50,000 in funding.
New input technologies are always risky business as the companies pushing them are essentially asking people to incorporate foreign actions into their very established processes. Most of the time, though, these inputs are laughably difficult and don’t do much to make things easier. Flow seems to be very straightforward and easy to use. It works as a complement rather than a proposition to replace everything, and that’s a far lower bar to present to those who may be interested.