A musician in his studio using the sensel morph music production overlay and keyboard overlay with Ableton, a music software

Frequently Asked Questions

General

The Sensel Morph is a new kind of input device that uses the next generation of touch technology. Containing 20,000 pressure sensors, it detects a range of pressures along with multi-touch, allowing it to detect any object. Since it’s able to detect pressure in this way, we have created overlays that allow the device to “morph” into many different devices, and you can even create your own overlays and thus your own “forms” of the Morph.

It’s all of the above, and anything else you want it to be. The beauty behind our technology is that it changes with you and your hobbies, rather than restricting you to one fixed device.

Please visit our getting started page to learn how to start creating with your Morph and how to use the device with your favorite software. For additional assistance in getting started, you can contact us at support@sensel.com.

‘Sensel’ means “sensor element”, just like “pixel” means “picture element”. A sensel is a fundamental building block used to construct a full touch sensor (just one of our sensors contains tens of thousands of sensels). ‘Morph’ was chosen because the user can transform the application of the product into virtually anything they can think of - via overlays, which are thin, flexible and responsive silicone layers that turn the product from something as simple as a QWERTY keyboard to a MPC controller of video game controller.

Many of our components are manufactured in Asia but the final assembly is in the United States.

If you’d like to get the latest and greatest updates on Sensel, please subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Social Media.

You can follow us on facebook here and @senselinc on Twitter and Instagram.

The community page, which will go live in 2017, will be a great place to share and learn from other Morph fans. You’ll be able to post projects, use cases, and ideas that you’ve created with the morph (from a drone controller to a work of art that you created with the art overlay). You’ll also be able to share any overlay designs you’ve created and “upvote” other peoples’ overlay designs and print them if you’d like. It will also serve as a sort of community forum. Until then, stay abreast with the projects people make with the Morph and posting your own projects with the #MorphMade hashtag.

Technically we can make this technology in various shapes and sizes, so we plan to have variations of shape and size in future models.

Technical Information

Until now, no one has been able to successfully make a high resolution array of resistive sensors that are cost effective. Also, Sensel’s technology has gotten rid of capacitive touch altogether. We’ve created an extremely high resolution array of force sensors; the density of sensors in the product is one every square millimeter — that makes for over 500 sensors every square inch. Additionally, Sensel uses standard manufacturing processes, allowing us to reliably build their product in high volume.

The difference between Pressure Grid Technology and Force Touch Technology is that Force Touch can only detect fingers or objects like a stylus, but can not detect other objects, like paintbrushes or a regular pen. Furthermore, it only senses the overall force (i.e. the total pressure being applied by finger(s) to the touchpad) rather than each individual force. By detecting a full pressure “image”, we can support rich multi-touch interactions and create entirely new ways to interact with the digital world.

The strength of Pressure Grid Technology is that it’s the most natural and seamless interaction between human and computer/device. It’s much more sensitive, multi-touch and can detect any object, with the ability to have applications in an array of areas (e.g. music, art, gaming).

Devices that can only detect styli are conductive, whereas the Morph works due to the pressure sensors. Since it detects pressure, it’s able to detect any object.  This means you can control it with your bare fingers or even place paper over it and simultaneously draw and digitize art made with pen and pencil.

The Sensel Morph differs from current touch technology as seen in graphic tablets as it translates the detail, speed, expression, and power of touch like never before - making it faster and more precise than any other product currently on the market. Another differentiation is that unlike a graphics tablet, the Morph can detect any object - meaning people in art and graphics can even use a paintbrush on the device.

Unlike current graphic tablets, the Sensel Morph can detect every object (from a finger to a paintbrush to a cup) and senses the force of each touch, separately. In other words, if you have four fingers on the device, it can detect how much pressure you are exerting with each individual finger, and react accordingly (aka multi-touch force). We detect not only where objects are touching, but also the shape and force profile of the contact.

In default, Full Resolution Mode, it detects at 125 Hz (8 ms latency) and in High Speed Mode it detects at 500 Hs (2ms latency).

The Sensel Morph uses a built in lithium polymer battery, with one day of normal use and one week in standby.  The battery is charged via USB.

The morph can be connected to a computer or tablet through either a micro USB cable (included) or via bluetooth (which is especially useful when connecting with a tablet such as an iPad). It will talk to the computer / tablet using standard cross platform protocols appropriate to the use case (so for instance, for music we talk over MIDI, for touch stylus and keyboard input we talk over HID and for lower-level access, we can talk over serial).

There is also a developer cable that will allow developers to hook their Morph to an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

At the moment, the Sensel Morph can be used with the following operating systems and languages: OSX, iOS, Windows, and Linux.  Serial/Arduino (with developer’s cable) and Android will be coming soon.

The Morph has a 1.25mm sensor pitch with ~0.1mm tracking accuracy (6502 dpi)  and ~20,000 sensors.

The Morph can detect over 4,096 levels of pressure with anything weighing from 5g - 5kg.

The Morph weighs 0.4kg.

The Morph: 240 mm width x 169.5mm height x 6.75mm thick.

The Active Area:  230 mm x 130 mm.

You can connect multiple devices over USB or Bluetooth, which allows you to use multiple devices at the same time. For instance, you could use several Morphs side-by-side to create an extended piano, or you could have a setup where you’re using one morph as a drawing tablet and another as a QWERTY keyboard. The combinations are endless.

No, the Morph does not have speakers. For music applications, the Morph outputs MIDI. This allows you to connect the Morph to popular music software suites and play music through your computer or tablet.

Overlays

We currently have 10 overlays available.  They are as follows: The QWERTY keyboard, AZERTY keyboard, DVORAK keyboard, Piano Overlay, MPC Controller, Media Editing Overlay, Gaming Overlay, Art Overlay, Drum-Pad, and the Clear Innovator's Overlay, which is a translucent base and will enable users to print and view their own overlay on top.  You can shop the overlays here.

Additional overlays will be released periodically by Sensel, and users will also be able to create and program their own overlays (similar to user-created IFTTT recipes) through the Overlay Creator, which will eventually be able to be shared with a network of Sensel Morph users who can upload and download different overlays for their own use. Users will be able to load a new interface with a single click of a button.

Users will also be able to print the overlay (either on paper using the Innovator’s Kit or using a 3D printer) to test out the new interface. Long-term, we hope to be able to support people ordering high-quality versions of an interface (injection molded or high-res 3D print) directly from Sensel.

This is currently in development.  If you’re interested in being a beta tester for the Overlay Creator, please email us at beta@sensel.com with subject line “Overlay Creator”.

The Sensel App, which you can download at sensel.com/start, allows you to run the vizualizer and vizualize The Morph’s data, test overlays, update firmware, and customize Overlay button functionality.

You can use flexible materials that are no more than 4 mm depending on stiffness of the material. We recommend Ninjaflex* if you are 3d printing, as we use it internally to prototype overlays. You can also test out on paper or the Innovator's Kit to prototype before 3d printing. *We are not affiliated with Ninjaflex.

The overlay creator will go live after Kickstarter products have shipped and we’ve received information on how to best mold it to our customers.  It will consist of an easy-to-use  drag-and-drop interface that will allow you to design and map out overlays without having to code.  Each “button” and function that you can use to map out an overlay will have coding already dedicated to it.  The programming for the overlay you map with the interface can then be programmed into your device with the click of a button.

Each overlay has magnets embedded in it.  These magnets have unique coding for each overlay, and are thus automatically detected by the device.

Hacking

The Morph works out of the box for many uses but it’s also hackable, meaning that if you’re a maker, hobbyist, or coder, you can use the Innovator’s Overlay and the SDK we provide to turn the device into virtually anything you can dream up.

If you’re a developer, we have an open-source API that allows you to use data from the Morph in various applications.  You can choose to get either the raw force image or the touch contact data. We already have support for C/C++, Java, Python, Processing, Unity, and C#, and plan to add more languages in the coming months.  You can see our API on Github and some of the projects people have made with The Morph on Devpost.

Software Support

More information on Software Support will be coming soon.

Contact Us

If you cannot find the answer to your question on the FAQ please contact us at support@sensel.com.

A limited amount of devices are still available for Pre-Order!

Pre-Order Now