Tuna knobs are control knobs that stick to any touchscreen and let you control DJ and music making apps like you would with dedicated music hardware. Tuna Knobs are designed to give you the tactile precision you need when making music, while giving you the versatility of mobile applications.
Making music is the passion of millions of people and nowadays it's possible to make music anywhere due to great apps and accessible tablets. However the downside of using a touchscreen is that you miss the authentic feel of twisting a knob on professional DJ gear. Tuna Knobs wants to bring back that feeling to the tablet so you can enjoy the mobility and versatility of your touchscreen with the precise and expressive experience of professional hardware. On top of that Tuna Knobs are small enough to take with you wherever you go so you can transform your tablet into a true DJ station anywhere.
We need your pledge to make these a reality!
A Stylus in the shape of knob, with a small axis in the middle and a suction cup on the bottom. Made to control (music) apps with virtual knobs on every touchscreen device.
So Tuna Knobs stick to your touchscreen using a micro suction cup and translate a turning movement to a touch command. Simply stick them on your screen and you are ready to start twiddling away. Tuna Knobs use conductive rubber to translate turning a knobs into the right signal for your touchscreen, not dissimilar to how a stylus works.
Tuna knobs are tested on an iPad and we know they work with the apps below.
In theory they should work with any virtual knob on any capacitive touchscreen device. We’re contacting as many app developers as possible to make Tuna Knobs guaranteed fully compatible with all music apps.
In order to explain how we got to this design, we must first introduce the team behind Tuna Knobs:
Samuel: “I have always loved making music and DJ’ing, but I was always bound to my gear at home. When a colleague saw me going through all the NAMM 2014 news, he stated that he knew some great iPad apps for making music. I checked them out and realized that I had missed one of the biggest new pieces of music hardware in the past years: the iPad. Powerful, versatile and mobile, it was already well on its way to changing the music world. But playing around with apps like TouchOSC and Korg iElectribe I felt something was missing. I wanted more precise control. I wanted knobs. So that’s the idea I pitched for Tweetonig and they loved it.”
John: "When Samuel pitched his idea, during his internship at our design office, we were on board immediately. It is a simple, clean and very natural solution. We contributed a lot on the technical side of the story. Since our studio has an strong focus on mass producing this comes natural to us. We identified all the problems and started to test them one by one. The biggest challenge was to find a nice feeling conductive rubber. But after many, many, samples from our trusted suppliers we found the perfect blend rubber for this project. All we need now is your help to finance the mold, we got everything else covered! Let's turn some knobs!"
So here is what we did to get to the Tuna Knob:
Every project starts on paper and sketching is a great way to get weird and wonderful before getting into the serious engineering bit. Sketching also allowed us to identify some key shapes and constraints.
With one knob taking less than 30 minutes to print, we were able to test a plethora of shapes and sizes to get to a point where all dimensions are just perfect.
Because we are working with a complex material like conductive rubber, we tested the response of various touchscreen devices to a bunch of conductive materials to make sure we are using just the right material.
When we were sure we had the right shape, dimensions and materials we were ready to make some first models with all the details right. The design of the Tuna Knob is now finalized and we are ready to start chugging these badboys out by the thousands.
This is where we need you!
With the design finished, the next step is investing in injection molding tooling to produce Tuna Knobs fast and efficiently at a price everyone will smile about. We need your support and we need your orders, and if you like us enough to give us one or both of those, then we can make Tuna Knobs a reality for everyone!
As soon as we are funded we are ready start manufacturing the injection mold. This will take 8 weeks after which we can tweak the materials and the manufacturing process to optimize the product, which will take two weeks. After that we can start up the Tuna Knobs factory and produce these by the thousands. Our first batch of production will be assembled and shipped in the third week of November, comfortably ahead of the holiday season.
So what's in it for you, you're asking? Well this:
Yes, we're kind of crazy. The Super-Duper-Early-Bird € 1 Special Pledge was a way to separate the early birds from those that never went to sleep and they were gone in 5 minutes! Because we noticed a lot of you pledged for amount that could buy you 4 or 8 knobs, we added these tiers to our pledges.
After the first week we teamed up with Stagetaken.com to give MiDi template for your app on your tablet for free with every knob we will deliver! Awesome!
Want to show off that you're a true Tuna Lover? Get the Tuna FANBOY PACK, which includes a set of 10 Tuna Knobs from the very first batch, an exclusive Tuna T-Shirt, a artifact (prototype or drawing) from the design process, 2 carrying pouches, Tuna stickers and a signed polaroid of the Tuna Team packing your pledge.
But there is more. We added some nice stretch goals:
So let's say you pledged. How do you use Tuna Knobs? Well, like this:
Simple enough right? I bet you know what to do. Go get yourself some Tuna Knobs.
Special thanks to Ruben Verburg for shooting and editing our video.
Risks and challenges
When taking a product to mass production certain problems will always arise. That is the main reason I teamed up with a professional industrial design company from the start of the development. They have done this numerous time before and know mass production.
To eliminate all risks we will produce and assemble in the Netherlands with a trusted mold maker who we know from previous projects. This way we can communicate directly and can be involved in every step of the process.
Another risk is the touch sensitivity. Since we don't want to use toxic plastics like silicone we designed the product to use a nice soft TPE rubber. This is normally non-conductive but we will work with a special blend so that we have this unique one of a kind soft touch conductive rubber. During the prototype phase we tested this material intensively, but slight changes can present them self during the final production. We will watch this process closely and work in close harmony with the manufacturer of this specific rubber to ensure proper working knobs!
- (30 days)