Cooler Master has a treat for us today, this time with the ControlPad, a brand new analog macro pad launching on Kickstarter today. Why Kickstarter, you may ask? That’s because the ControlPad is a new concept in macro pads – a niche of a niche, you might say – and they need your help to bring it to market and develop software that, for the first time, isn’t just for gamers.
The idea of an analog pad flies in the face of keyboards as we know them. Traditional keyboards use digital inputs – on and off – for their controls. In an MMO, you’re either running or you’re not. There is no in between. In a racing game, you’re pressing the pedal to the floor or not pressing it at all. Like a light switch, it’s one or the other.
Analog control, on the other hand, has a lot more in common with a joystick or trigger on a gamepad. How hard and how far you’re pressing make a difference. You can sprint at a full press and creep at a light touch, scrub the entire timeline in Premiere or move forward a few seconds. That’s the power of analog and the benefits to gaming are clear.
We actually saw similar technology when we reviewed the Wooting One last year and found that it had a profound impact on gameplay. While that keyboard uses optical switches, the ControlPad uses standard mechanical switches (Cherry or Gateron, both RGB) embedded with AimPad technology that can sense their how far each key is pressed.
This might seem small but trust me, it’s not. With this tech, each key is essentially doubled. A light press for one action, a hard press for another. You can smoothly control anything: mouse movement, page scrolling; in games that don’t support mouse and keyboard, the Wooting would easily mimic an Xbox controller and Cooler Master is likely to do the same.
For professionals and creative professionals, CM intended to create custom profiles to increase your workflow. They’re already hard at work creating layouts for Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro and they’re actively seeking customer feedback to develop more.
To match these functions, they also plan to release custom keycap sets to make identifying your action easier.If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, head on over to their Kickstarter and take a closer look. We’ll be watching this one closely here at MMORPG.