The Sensel Morph: An Imaginative Controller With Interchangeable Overlays

Controllers come in all different shapes and sizes, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every DJ or producer. Sensel is creating an interaction device that anyone can use in countless ways. Dubbed the Morph, it is a pressure-sensitive multi-touch device, and allows users to add their own overlays to the surface to give it physical controls. Read more about it and watch the Kickstarter video inside.

Sensel Morph: A Touch Sandbox Device

The Morph offers a new generation of multi-touch interactions, with a sensitivity to the pressure and amount of fingers on the device. This is made possible by the company’s patented Pressure Grid technology that fits 20,000 touch sensors in the device.

Sensl’s goal was to create a device that takes blends the expressive possibilities of our hands with the restrictive technology that surrounds our world. The Morph is primarily made up of a a 230 mm x 130 mm touch area and can connect with Arduinos via dev. cable,  computers via USB, and devices via Bluetooth. The way the user interacts with the Morph depends on the magnetic overlay that is connected and the Morph switches modes depending on the overlay that it detects.

DJ Possibilities

There are currently six overlays available for users – Keyboard, Piano, Drum, Music Production, Gaming, and Art. The overlay DJs will be most interested in is the music production overlay which offers a grid of 16 pads, 8 control buttons, 8 touch buttons, 2 sliders, and a 13-key piano. Below is a video showing how Adriano Clemente uses the device with Ableton Live.

However, that design will obviously not cater to all DJs so what about everyone else? Sensel is interested in their user community being involved with the device, so upon the first batch of Morphs shipping in June 2016 (estimated) there will be an online creator tool that lets users build a controller overlay based on their imagination. DJs can then design a controller and personal overlay for less than $400.

That’s a bit of a long wait – so Sensel is also hosting an Overlay contest where users can download the schematics for the Morph and design their own controller overlay. After the Kickstarter closes, we encourage DJs to get creative and enter the contest for a chance to not only win a Morph ($199 value) but also to have their overlay featured by Sensel. The winner of the contest will be picked some time in early October.

The Morph itself is only available through Kickstarter donations and is set to ship in the second quarter of 2016 – but we’ve all read about how Kickstartered gear (like the QuNeo) often takes much longer to actually deliver.

Check out the Morph on Sensels Kickstarter for more information.

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  • Dubby Labby

    Force touch (3D touch in ipad pro) will be the same sooner or later and realtime morphing UI… Just sayin’…

    • Prof_Strangeman

      The iPad Pro doesn’t have 3D touch.

      • Dubby Labby

        Right. It has not implemented in the physical screen but it is implemented in the SDK of the pencil so it has hardcoded and it is previsible to be implemented in the hardware side next version or two. That’s the meaning of sooner or later. 😉

  • Izzy Infraxred

    It honestly looks like a good idea but it looks very stiff and uncomfortable. Maybe they should spend a little more time developing more layouts for othe controller styles. Im not a big fan of the contoller analog filter things.

  • hellnegative

    The price point just does not make sense to me. Why not just get a cheap $200 android tablet, $20 wireless router, install touchosc for a dollar, and create your own layouts. Cool technology, just not practical with the current progression of technology.

    • Nic Boileau

      my thoughts as well, why be limited to their overlays

      • Stephanie Chedid

        Hi Nic, You’re not limited to their overlays. You can create your own with their drag-and-drop interface and have them 3d printed through them, so you can create absolutely any controller you want!

    • Fayek Helmi

      i assume the ONLY advantage this has over a touchosc layout is tactile feel… hitting virtual buttons on a stiff screen is not really fun or even comfortable compared to something you can feel with your fingers and has some sort of elasticity (at least from the video i assume there’s elasticity?)

      Still i think it’s an interesting concept but dont see this becoming popular that much. especially for its size. it’s quite small too.