With the LipSync, the user is able to move their cursor and navigate around their smartphone using a mouthpiece instead of needing to use their hands or fingers. But how is this done? With a joystick.
For those of you who play video games, you might associate a joystick with a game controller, the thing that allows you to move within a game — typically with your hands or thumbs. But in this case we’re using the joystick to allow the user to move the mouthpiece, and thus move the cursor across the screen.
A joystick (the white thing) we tried out — actually the first joystick we tried. However, we determined it to be too small.
The video game connection is apt, however, because we have decided to use a thumb joystick for the LipSync, or more specifically the PS2 (PlayStation 2) (new window) controller thumb joystick. Surprisingly, it’s quite adaptable, not to mention durable. Take the thumb pad off (the black, rubbery thing), and you’ve got the perfect thing to move the mouthpiece.
Two thumb joysticks side-by-side. One has the thumb pad on, while the other is bare. In case you’re curious, there would be no thumb pad on the LipSync.
And the thumb joysticks are cheap too. You can find them from a wide variety of sources (like Amazon (new window)) for as little as $2. This is a lot better than the industrial grade joystick that our original prototype used that would set you back at least $150 — probably too much for the average maker who’d spend a weekend producing a LipSync.
This is one of the ways we’re keeping the cost down for LipSync makers, thereby making it more accessible for users.
The joystick attached to the current iteration circuit board of the LipSync prototype.