Make anything into a key with Makey Makey invention kit

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open source button on keyboard

Piano stairs? Water bucket Dance Dance Revolution? Play-Doh Super Mario Brothers! Makey Makey is an invention kit that connects to your computer and uses a special board to turn everyday items into keys. It tricks your computer into thinking that almost anything (that even slightly conducts electricty) is a keyboard. As you can see in this video, the world is your oyster-key-input.

The kit:  

  • Connection to input - alligator clips or jumper wires (included)
  • Connection to ground - earth bar on Makey Makey board
  • Key material / computer input - any object you'd like that conducts electricity, even a little bit (a banana)
  • Key activator / ground input - any object that is slightly conductive (your fingers)

Instructions for putting all of this together can be found here. And if you find yourself wanting to remap the MaKey MaKey inputs, program the MaKey MaKey in Arduino, and use that mysterious output connector to make something super-duper awesome go hereSparkFun Electronics, a provider of parts, knowledge and passion for electronics creation, is now shipping the MaKey MaKey for $39.95 USD. 

Teachers and parents, would you like to see Makey Makey in the classroom? Tech and computer philes, would you get anything out of this as a Saturday project at home? Do you think this is more for kids or adults?

What would you make?

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Jen leads a team of community managers for the Digital Communities team at Red Hat. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughters, June and Jewel.


This is a revolutionary idea! Simplify human interaction with computers down to any object (not just the mouse and keyboard)and who knows what the world will come up with! Great article!

Thanks Jamie! What would you make?

I am really interested in how this could be used for interactive art displays. Tied to a midi player one could create some very unique art instruments. I can see where this could be used in children's museums as well for creating incredible interactive displays.

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