If you’re a designer of nearly ANY trade, then many of you feel that sliders are terrible. You might accidentally move your cursor or element just a little too far to the left; a little too far to the right. Plus, sometimes EVEN THE MOUSE can be frustrating method to control applications like Photoshop, Final Cut, AutoCAD or even Spotify. However, this new input device from Senic called Flow allows you to play your computer like an instrument, as it offers and relies on infinite dexterity through feeling instead of sight.
The Y Combinator startup Senic’s sub-$100 wireless Flow offers four types of control,ranging from:
1) Motion by waving over its infrared sensor
2) A programmable touch-sensitive pad on top
3) A haptic response for pushing Flow like a button, and
4) A physical cylinder around the sides that you can twist for ultimate precision.
The Flow currently works with 30 apps, ranging from the Adobe Creative Suite, and aspiring developers can even design and program their own custom Flow interfaces however they want.
Co-founder Tobias Eichenwald (the charming chap below) believes that there are better ways to work than squinting at a screen, as he wants Flow to let you control your computer “blindly, unconsciously, naturally;” similar to how you’d play a guitar. Usually, we designers constantly dig through various Photoshop menus, then use our mouse or select the bracket button, which typically changes things in increments that wind up being larger than we need them to be. However, with Flow, you can bump up or down the hue or brush size in Photoshop, alter model angles in AutoCAD, switch between layers in Illustrator, select frames in a video editing app (oooooh, I smell an investment in my office….), and many more possible capabilities.