Rummaging the convention halls of CES, you’ll walk past thousands of booths. Some huge, big, medium, small, and others are almost hidden by their surroundings. TactSlider’s booth wasn’t hidden, but it was definitely a diamond in the rough. So what is TactSlider? The simple answer is it’s a joystick for mobile gaming. You aren’t thrilled? You should be. This is probably the most well designed product to hit any gaming market in years, more like decades.
The bottom of the TactSlider is sticky without being sticky. It doesn’t make sense, and I don’t understand it either. Daniel Quek, the founder and engineer behind TactSlider, promised me that TactSlider’s ‘adhesive surface’ is based on material science. Meaning that the bottom of TactSlider bonds with any smartphone or tablet without a sticky surface. And bonds it does, you CAN NOT push TactSlider in any direction once it is on the device. Although, when you want to remove it, simply pull up from the sides and it pops off like it was barely stuck on. BRILLIANCE!
In addition to its material science bonding, the joystick itself is very responsive. It snaps back into position like a joystick on the PSP or Vita. Daniel attributes this precision to the spring that he specially developed just for TactSlider. The spring is really the magic of TactSlider. Daniel’s face lights up when he talks about it, and you immediately know it’s what he is most proud of. He has spent A LOT of time trying to get the spring just right, which is very respectable.
TactSlider’s is only about the size of a quarter, which is a major plus. It won’t take up the entire screen, even on a smaller screen smartphone. And if it does take up a bit too much real estate, no need to worry because the body is transparent. You can easily see everything underneath it.
Finally, the metal center is conductive, but only when touched. Meaning TactSlider only ‘presses’ the screen when you put your finger on the metal center. This can be very useful, especially if a game requires tapping on the same button. You can use an analog stick or tap, tap, tap away, all while leaving the TactSlider exactly in place.
We’ll be doing a full review on TactSlider with video and all the works real soon.
Below are a couple shots of TactSlider on my iPad 3rd Generation with Sonic CD.