Why Use A Touchscreen When A Banana Will Do?

Fruits, Snacks, Humans, Animals, Cars, Swimming Pools, Coins, and Your Grandma, and Thousands More

How about a little gadget that turns almost anything into a trigger to launch content on a screen?

Like a doughnut? A piece of fruit? A hockey puck?

That’s the fun premise and potential for something called Makey Makey GO, a USB stick you plug into a PC and connect to objects just using simple alligator clips. By clipping the gadget to the object, that object (like a banana) becomes a keyboard space bar or click message from a mouse.

Because the PC thinks it is getting input from a real device, the Makey Makey GO can open programs and trigger videos just like a real device.


We hear endlessly about interactivity and consumer engagement, and that’s done these days mostly by touch overlays and pads, sensors, or big buttons appropriated from slot machines. And those peripheral devices make perfect sense, because they’re rugged and familiar.

But for a fun short-term interactive piece, the potential is there to really be engaging if the content trigger is completely unexpected – like replica dinosaur bones at a science museum.

I wouldn’t, however, recommend bananas or Jello as lasting interfaces.

The gadget is from a little company that already has a larger version with multiple clips that sells for $60. This one is a Kickstarter project and the USB sticks will cost $20 and ship later this year.


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes


12+ year-old blog and podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst & bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
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