So ThinkGeek has launched a new program called IdeaFactory where you can submit an idea, and if they like it, they'll make it into a real product and give you a cut of the revenue. I've had this idea in my brain for a while for a physical product, that I know I'll never get around to actually doing anything with, so I decided to create a graphic explaining the concept and wrote up a submission. Here it is:
Statiks - static cling controller stickers for tablet and smartphone games.
The problem with playing fast-paced games on a touchscreen is your fingers always lose track of where the virtual buttons are placed, causing miss-taps and frustration. There's been some attempts to solve this by creating suction-cup joysticks or external controllers, but they've been cumbersome at best, expensive or both.
The solution is much simpler. Like the small bumps on the home keys of your keyboard, your fingers only need a small tactile reminder of where to place themselves on the screen.
Statiks would be vinyl stickers that can be placed on touchscreens to help guide your fingers to virtual buttons and controls. They would come in a pack with various shapes and sizes to match popular touchscreen games such as Tetris, Dungeon Hunters, Archetype, etc. There could even be an opportunity to partner with mobile game developers and custom-tailor the stickers for those games.
Like the Colorforms you may have played with as a child, or removable car window stickers - they cling to the screen by static electricity alone, and are easily removable once the game is over and stored on a sleeve, or even on the back of the device.
Inexpensive and quick to produce, they could be sold at considerable markup and would make great 'stocking-stuffer' gifts for the 2012 Christmas season.
What do you think? I think it's pretty clever... I think it's one of those simple ideas that would actually be best if it was done with some sort of licensed IP - think "Official Asphalt™ Statiks Control Stickers for iPad and Android Tablets" or Call of Duty or Tetris... Whatever. That would make them more of a legitimate accessory.
According to the site, they'll take the next 60 days to look at the submissions and send out a response if they decide to go with the idea. I will obviously post an update if that happens. :-)