$59,267
pledged of $50,000pledged of $50,000 goal
687
backers
38days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, November 25 2018 12:25 PM UTC +00:00.

Cooler MasterBy Cooler Master
First created
Cooler MasterBy Cooler Master
First created
$59,267
pledged of $50,000pledged of $50,000 goal
687
backers
38days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, November 25 2018 12:25 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Cooler Master is proud to present ControlPad, an innovative new control method for gamers, creative professionals, musicians and everyone in between. Designed as a passion project from the ground up, ControlPad aims to change the way we interact with games and our most used applications by introducing analog control into a mobile keypad.

 Let’s start with a simple question: how can we improve on our most commonly used input methods? The keyboard and mouse duo is accepted as standard for most PC games and applications, but it’s not without its limitations. How can we improve control?

Throughout the research process, we came across Lance, the creator of an ingenious new method of analog control for your keyboard. Aimpad technology gives mechanical keyboards the precision control normally found in devices such as gaming controllers, steering wheels, and aviation joysticks. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities. And did we mention mechanical? 

Play games the way they were meant to be played. Walk and drive with precision without needing to use a controller and sacrifice your aim with a mouse.
Play games the way they were meant to be played. Walk and drive with precision without needing to use a controller and sacrifice your aim with a mouse.

 Currently, the ControlPad prototype works great for gaming. It is plug-and-play, and your PC will recognize the ControlPad as a controller AND a keyboard. Therefore, games that come with controller support will most likely work with ControlPad. Some games might offer partial support. 

The games found on that page feature full analog movement and work well with Aimpad technology. The developers of these games deserve a high five for being forward thinking PC developers and allowing analog movement and mouse aiming at the same time.  

If a game isn’t on this list, it doesn’t mean it won’t work with ControlPad.  It just means it either hasn’t been tested yet or may require some tweaking to behave properly.

Your crosshair can stay perfectly straight while walking in games like CS:GO, giving you a tactical advantage over regular keyboards.

Walk, run and creep all with a single, controlled press. Unlock the built-in functionality and play the way the games were meant to be played.

Get ultimate control of your speed while flying, and adjust pitch, yaw, and roll with just the keys on the ControlPad

See how ControlPad can give you a clear, strategic advantage in a game like SUPERHOT.

We took our MK850 with Aimpad technology to PAX East to get people's feedback. Hear what they had to say.

"The Cooler Master ControlPad is one of the most interesting analog keyboard accessories we've come across."

"You can sprint at a full press and creep at a light touch.  That's the power of analog and the benefits to gaming are clear."

"There are two 'precision rollers' along the top edge of the ControlPad that will no doubt be fan favorites."

"This opens up a world of new options, allowing single key presses to be used for multiple macros or to define different movements speeds in-game depending on key pressure."

"Cooler Master gives you a taste of this technology, and perhaps all you need on a dedicated accessory."

"If you thought Wooting was the only keyboard maker working on analog keyboard tech, think again."

With your feedback and help, we'd like to start working on dedicated software for creative professionals. Some examples of ideas our designers have come up with are below:

  • Make production and editing applications more intuitive and useful on the fly. 
  • Apply presets, switch tools, adjust opacity - thickness, brush size, and more. 
  • Press key halfway down to start cropping. After making selection, press key all the way down to apply the crop.

 To make ControlPad more usable with professional applications, we'd like to design and manufacture dedicated keycap sets. Here are ones that we're working on and would love feedback on which shortcuts you use most!

  • Standard
  • FPS
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Premiere Pro 
Example of FPS keycap set
Example of FPS keycap set
Example of dedicated keycap sets for photoshop, illustrator, and premiere
Example of dedicated keycap sets for photoshop, illustrator, and premiere

 How do we accomplish analog control in a mechanical switch? We measure how far down the mechanical switch is pressed using an infrared LED. The light emitted from the LED is reflected off the bottom of the key and an infrared sensor measures how much light is reflected. If a low amount of light is reflected we know that the key is at its highest point. If a higher amount of light is reflected, we know that the key is moving closer to the sensor. 

 Let's use a light switch analogy. In a digital input method, the controls are binary - the input controls whether an object is ON or OFF. Think of it like a standard light switch. A standard keyboard without Aimpad technology works this way.

In an analog input method, the controls have varying degrees of ON or OFF, depending on the intensity of their registering. Think of it like a dimmer light switch where you can control the intensity. This is how Aimpad functions.

Mechanical Switches

Unlike mushy membrane switches that are common in most keyboards, ControlPad is equipped with linear mechanical switches instead. These offer a distinct advantage over membrane in virtually every way: more responsive, more accurate, and more durable. 

ControlPad with mechanical switches and standard keycaps
ControlPad with mechanical switches and standard keycaps

We're offering two different red switches to choose from with ControlPad: Cherry MX and Gateron. Red, linear switches work best with ControlPad since the main purpose of analog switches is to able to fine tune your movement. With tactile brown switches or clickly blues, the bump and activation point won't serve a purpose since it is analog control with varying degrees of activations.  Both Cherry MX and Gateron are renowned for durability and longevity. 

RGB Backlighting

Once we have software fully fleshed out, you'll be able to mix and match 16.7 million colors. and set lighting schemes to match with applications.

Fully Programmable

Four dedicated profiles let's you switch on-the-fly between programmed hotkeys and shortcuts for different games or applications. 

 Cooler Master is a global computer components company with an outstanding record in releasing innovative products that truly advance the consumer PC industry. Since our founding in 1992 as a thermal pioneer responsible for the first ever copper heatsink with heatpipes, through our evolution into a manufacturer of cutting-edge cases and peripherals, Cooler Master has consistently rewarded its customers and fans with the utmost in innovation, choice, and control. 

Even though we've come a long way since our humble beginnings in a garage, we still can't help but be inspired and excited for those who display the same DIY spirit.

 Why is Cooler Master using Kickstarter to gather customer feedback?

We have robust in-house design, testing, and manufacturing facilities. For cooling, power supplies, PC cases, keyboards, mice and headsets, we have decades of experience in developing and bringing gaming PC products to the masses. But creating products that also benefit professionals and content creators is not something we have really dabbled in yet. We’ve spent a lot of time working on ControlPad already, researching the possibilities and refining the pressure sensitive technology to make it completely ready for mass production. By using Kickstarter and getting valuable feedback from backers though, we’re able to confirm what we’ve researched and developed as well as find out what we might have missed and incorporate that into the product software. Your critical feedback, diverse backgrounds, and wide range of perspectives will enable us to make the software perfect to meet the most needed functions of the community. 

Why is Cooler Master using Kickstarter first instead of testing beforehand? 

Launching on Kickstarter will enable us to access a wider range of users and Kickstarter’s vast innovation database from our non-traditional community. We do not need the money like a startup does. We fully and honestly acknowledge this. But by using this method to get feedback and first launching on Kickstarter, we’re able to offer the product at a discounted price than the product we’ll mass produce. We believe if people are willing to first support the technology before it hits mass market, they’ll most likely be highly motivated, rigorously use the product, and get the most use out of the product. This will result in better feedback for us to improve the software and overall user experience with ControlPad.

How will Cooler Master collect and integrate backer’s feedback?

Kickstarter lets us easily collect feedback via multiple channels. After backing the project, comments can be posted directly to the campaign page. We can also send out surveys to our backers to get feedback on things such as:

  • Aesthetics/ergonomic design
  • Feedback on keycap sets (FPS, racing, Photoshop, etc)
  • Default profile keymapping for different applications/games
  • Desired functionality in software 
  • Level of software support (Open Source, SDK, etc…)
  • Operating system support (Mac OS, iOS, Chrome OS, etc…)

Our ControlPad team has been cataloging and pouring over all the suggestions already made. We’re extremely excited about all the information we’ve received and are looking forward to more!

Risks and challenges

Our experience in the industry and manufacturing gives us a leg up in tackling this difficult task of infusing Aimpad into mechanical switches. We've already done this. So in terms of bringing this product to life, rest assured.

Instead, one of our biggest challenges lies in the fact that we haven't fully realized the potential of ControlPad. We understand the capabilities it can present to gamers and professionals, but to what degree, we’re unsure. That’s why we want community involvement and feedback to create incredible software to meet the needs and wants of gamers and creative professionals.

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    I Support this Tech

    Thank you for your contribution and support!

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    Keycap Set of Your Choice

    Looking for just the custom, double-shot PBT keycap set? Pick your set of choice.

    Includes:
    • 1 Extra Keycap Set of Choice
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    Goodie Pack

    Thank you + Receive a Cooler Master Pin and T-shirt (Control this)

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    ControlPad - Gateron Switch

    For those looking for an option without extra keycap set. Receive one ControlPad with Gateron switches, including Accessories (Keycap Puller, Wrist rest).

    Includes:
    • ControlPad
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
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    ControlPad - Gateron Switch

    Receive 1x ControlPad with Gateron switches, including Accessories (Keycap Puller, Wrist rest, and 1 additional keycap set of choice
    (Current keycap choices are: Gaming, Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator)

    Includes:
    • ControlPad
    • 1 Extra Keycap Set of Choice
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
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    ControlPad - Cherry MX Switch

    For those looking for an option without extra keycap set. Receive one ControlPad with Cherry MX switches, including Accessories (Keycap Puller, Wrist rest).

    Includes:
    • ControlPad
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
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    ControlPad

    Receive 1x ControlPad with included Accessories (Keycap Puller, Wrist rest, and 1 additional keycap set of choice
    (Keycap choices are: Gaming, Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator)

    Includes:
    • ControlPad
    • 1 Extra Keycap Set of Choice
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
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    Why Choose? - Gateron Switch

    Receive a ControlPad with Gateron switches including accessories and all 4 extra keycap sets

    Includes:
    • ControlPad
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
    • All 4 Sets of Extra Keycaps
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    Why Choose?

    Receive a ControlPad incl. accessories and all 4 extra keycap sets

    Includes:
    • ControlPad
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
    • All 4 Sets of Extra Keycaps
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    Super Pack

    Receive two ControlPads with your switch of choice, including all accessories and extra keycap sets. And as a bonus we'll pitch in also a Goodie Pack! (Pin and T-Shirt!)

    Includes:
    • ControlPad x 2
    • Standard Accessories x 2: Keycap puller & Wrist Rest
    • Goodie Pack
    • All 4 Sets of Extra Keycaps
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    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    800 Series 800 Pack

    Receive ControlPad x 2 with all keycap sets and accessories along with two of every item in our 800 series peripheral set; MK850 Keyboard, MM830 Mouse, MP860 Mousepad and we'll even throw in Cooler Master Backpacks as well

    Includes:
    • ControlPad x 2
    • Standard Accessories x 2: Keycap puller & Wrist Rest
    • All 4 Sets of Extra Keycaps x 2
    • M800 Series bundle x 2: MK850, MM830, MP860 and CM Backpacks
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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    Forever in our Hearts

    Equip your entire team or office with FIVE ControlPads with all accessories and keycaps, CM Product Bundle (keyboard, mouse, headset), personalized thank you letter from the ControlPad team and tour at nearest Cooler Master Office nearest to your location and your picture will be on our GM’s desk “corner of cool” :)

    *Listed items of CM bundle subject to change to other keyboard, mice, or headset items of equivalent value

    Includes:
    • ControlPad x 5
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
    • All 4 Sets of Extra Keycaps
    • Personalized THANK YOU letter!
    • CK550 keyboard, MM530 mouse, MP750 mouse pad, MH751 headset
    • Tour of nearest Cooler Master Office
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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Customized ControlPad & Tour Pack!

    One of a kind customized ControlPad, and 5 day guided tour in Southern China at Cooler Master production facility to see your ControlPad being made! Including hotel, flight, meals and tours of Shenzhen and Hong Kong all arranged and covered. See your customized ControlPad made on the spot - it doesn't get any better then this!

    Includes:
    • Custom ControlPad
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
    • All 4 Sets of Extra Keycaps
    • Guided Tour of Manufacturing Site in China
    • Flight, hotel, and meals included
    • Swag, CM product bundle, and experience of a lifetime!
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    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    Gateron Switch Early Bird Special!

    Receive a ControlPad + Goodie Pack as thank you for supporting our project right out of the gates!

    Includes:
    • ControlPad
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
    • Exclusive Early Bird Goodie Pack
    • 1 Extra Keycap Set of Choice
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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Early Bird

    Receive a ControlPad + Goodie Pack as thank you for supporting our project right out of the gates!

    Includes:
    • ControlPad
    • Standard Accessories: Keycap puller & Wristrest
    • Exclusive Early Bird Goodie Pack
    • 1 Extra Keycap Set of Choice
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