Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Monome kit unboxing.

In the spirit of elaborate unboxing ceremonies for exciting new devices, I have decided to further fetishize my new monome kit. So, as you can see above, this might not be the most exciting box ever seen, but it's a pretty neat item. If you haven't heard of the monome, it's a 'minimalist' input device designed by some hip people in Pennsylvania. It's basically a grid of lighted buttons, which talks to your computer. It's up to you to decide the mappings of these button presses, and what the computer does for feedback.

So it's not as pretty as the box for the MacBook Air. At least not on the outside...


Mmm. Nicely textured, recycled-looking paper. Good stuff. Now, let's see what $264 buys you these days...


And there you have it. Two boards: one for logic, with the usb interface and the plumbing to talk with the keypad, and the keypad itself. The logic board comes with some chips, sockets, and passive components in addition to the usb connector. The keypad comes with the board, a roll of surface-mount diodes and a couple flat cables in addition to the board. The real star of the show here is probably the keypad itself; nicely textured rubber buttons that give off an air of quality. Note what's missing: screws, usb cable, and an enclosure. All to be designed and supplied by the end user, myself.

To get a sense of what's possible, take a look at this gallery of finished user kits. I'm hoping that mine will come out as nice as some of these do. I've got great plans...but not a lot of time right now, as the quarter comes to an end. Stay tuned for further updates.
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