“WHILE Apple is taking away buttons, we found a way to add one.”
That’s the humble brag from a company called Astro HQ, which spent months developing a way to turn the iPad’s camera into a handy button for their new software app.
Why? Because as Apple continues to strip away bezels and buttons in its quest for a minimalist design, it can create challenges for third party developers.
So the company decided to hack the camera to turn it into a button for its new Luna Display app, which turns your iPad into a wireless second display monitor for your Macbook or iMac. The app essentially provides users with a way to turn their Mac into a touchable device to increase functionality for artists and creative types.
The problem is much of the iPad screen is already taken up by swiping gestures, so in order to include a user interface menu which didn’t clog up the display, the company were forced to innovate.
There were a number of challenges including protecting user privacy and ensuring the constant alertness of the camera didn’t drain the battery too much, which the company says it spent four month working on.
“Earlier this year, Apple made headlines when it revealed a new iPhone design that left out the iconic Home button. Now, I’m all for simplification. But for the design community, every further simplification of Apple hardware keeps us on our toes. It means searching for creative solutions to work around Apple’s constant quest for minimalism,” wrote the company’s marketing director, Savannah Reising.
“So when we ran out of buttons to hide our software’s UI behind, it really forced us to use our imagination. Instead of squeezing UI in where it didn’t fit, we built a new button to conceal it: it’s called the Camera Button.”
Judging from the reaction, it’s clearly something Apple users think is a cool idea.
The company has been raising funds on crowd funding site Kickstarter for its Luna Display app and been overwhelmed by donors. The campaign is in its final day and after setting a $US30,000 goal, it has raised more than $US618,000 ($A788,000).