"Have you ever played Mario on Play-Doh or Piano on Bananas? Alligator clip the Internet to Your World, and start inventing The Future."
This short blurb written by MaKey MaKey creators Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum, who are both final-year PhD students at the MIT Media Lab, describes the endless possibilities made possible by this innovative and playful new device.
Silver and Rosenbaum set out with the simple idea of turning everyday objects into touchpad that could control computer programs. Their final product can turn anything that can carry an electronic current--so pretty much anything--into a keyboard.
The duo used Kickstarter, a crowd-funding website, to pay for manufacturing costs. Using the website allowed them to keep the price down to just $35. Although they set out to raise just $25,000 they have currently racked up over $500,000, which they will receive on June 12.
"We had an inkling we might be onto something big as we got started," Rosenbaum told iDesignTimes, "but this is all definitely more than we could have asked for or expected."
He attributes their success to the rise of do-it-yourself technology as well as the viral spread of the promotional video they filmed (watch below).
"It turns out the world really loves the idea of a banana piano," he told iDesignTimes.
The basic MaKey MaKey kit comes with a USB cable and a bespoke circuit board with alligator clips attached to it. Simply pug the USB into your computer and attach the alligator clips to whatever you want.
Rosenbaum told BBC that they had already turned two friends into sound machines, a beach-ball in a video-game controller and used a cup of milk to make music.
But both students maintain that their invention is far more than a silly gimmick. Silver told BBC that dozens of people have contacted them with ideas for using Makey Makey to help people who cannot use regular keyboards.
"A father is currently turning it into a computer interface for his son who is suffering from cerebral palsy," he said. "We call this Hackcess."
Rosenbaum and Silver are excited about the future of MaKey MaKey. They are planning to develop on online resource to get people started using their product.
"Of course we have lots of ideas for extensions to MaKey MaKey," Rosenbaum told iDesignTimes, "and other kits we are excited to develop in the future."