Computers

nOb offers precision control of virtually any onscreen element

nOb offers precision control o...
The nOb Control team has turned to Kickstarter for the final push to production
The nOb Control team has turned to Kickstarter for the final push to production
View 5 Images
The nOb features an industrial grade encoder that offers up to 2,400 counts per revolution for precision parameter adjustment
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The nOb features an industrial grade encoder that offers up to 2,400 counts per revolution for precision parameter adjustment
The weighted aluminum nOb out front has adjustable rotation resistance
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The weighted aluminum nOb out front has adjustable rotation resistance
The nOb can be used to move software sliders, scrollbars, dials and knobs, pitch wheels and draggable value indicators
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The nOb can be used to move software sliders, scrollbars, dials and knobs, pitch wheels and draggable value indicators
All of the electronics are contained within a hand-crafted mahogany enclosure, and all hardware can be taken apart for custom hacks and mods
4/5
All of the electronics are contained within a hand-crafted mahogany enclosure, and all hardware can be taken apart for custom hacks and mods
The nOb Control team has turned to Kickstarter for the final push to production
5/5
The nOb Control team has turned to Kickstarter for the final push to production
View gallery - 5 images

The scroll wheel of a computer mouse can be a bit of an imprecise monster when it comes to making fine adjustments in media production software like video editing suites or digital audio workstations, leading to frustrating back and forth marathons or manual interventions to get onscreen elements to behave. The delightfully retro-looking nOb is kind of like a supercharged scroll wheel that's used for making ultra-fine adjustments of parameters, settings and screen elements.

Germany's nOb Control says that the nOb controller will work with any computer system capable of running a USB keyboard or mouse, no special driver required. It's also reported compatible with any operating platform and any graphics, music creation, audio design, video editing or 3D artist software.

It's used in conjunction with a mouse, but will also work with touchscreen interfaces. A media author just needs to move the cursor to the onscreen parameter needing a tweak and then use the big dial on the front of the nOb to fine tune the setting. The weighted aluminum nOb out front has adjustable rotation resistance and features an industrial grade encoder that offers up to 2,400 counts per revolution for precision parameter adjustment.

It can be used to move software sliders, scrollbars, dials and knobs, pitch wheels and draggable value indicators, too, and is also touch-enabled to cater for tap commands such as undo and redo. Touch sensitive toggle switches are used to select operating modes, or to fire custom commands.

The nOb features an industrial grade encoder that offers up to 2,400 counts per revolution for precision parameter adjustment
The nOb features an industrial grade encoder that offers up to 2,400 counts per revolution for precision parameter adjustment

All of the electronics are contained within a hand-crafted mahogany enclosure, and all hardware can be taken apart for custom hacks and mods. The device connects to the computer running production software via serial over USB.

After building and testing several prototypes, the nOb Control team is readying its generic knob controller for world domination and has turned to Kickstarter for the final push. Pledge levels start at €149 (about US$160) and, if all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in August 2016.

You can see what's on offer in the pitch video below.

Sources: nOb Control, Kickstarter

nOb - One knob controls it all

View gallery - 5 images
4 comments
Alien
Great idea - but wow! The price precludes this from ordinary users like me. I guess only design professionals might consider it an affordable option. Alternatively, why not sell the patent to Logitech, then it can be produced and sold for affordable money?
Timelord
If you don't need the fancy wood enclosure or the tap capability, a Griffin Powermate does everything else for a fraction of the price. That's also machined from aluminum with a nice, smooth action. It does need special software but that gives it other options like being able to press it like a button, or turning it while pressing and holding down the knob, using keyboard modifiers like shift or control while pressing, turning or both. The Powermate software allows it to issue mouse commands, keystrokes or other specialized commands like system volume up and down. For instance, in lieu of the tapping functionality, I could always set press down and turn counterclockwise for undo and press down and turn clockwise for redo. That would offer less chance of confusion than having to wonder whether the last double tap was an undo or redo. In Firefox, I set the Powermate to cycle forward and back through the tabs depending on which direction I'm turning. I've been enjoying my Powermate for over ten years now.
Benji
Sounds pretty much like another version of Griffin's PowerMate which has been around for years. https://griffintechnology.com/us/powermate
Essentially it's rotary encoder (fine ones cost around $65) and a couple of switches mated to a USB interface that's emulating a mouse (can be done with Arduino). I can see this being done elsewhere for less.
hkmk23
30 years ago we called it a trackball.......