We've seen a lot of unconventional PC controllers over the years, including several keypads primed specifically for first-person shooters. The Aimpad looks similar to those offerings, but it's a different animal entirely. Instead of relying on traditional key switch mechanisms, which are either on or off, the Aimpad uses IR sensors to give each key a range of analog input. This change promises finer control over movement in games, much like an analog thumb stick, without sacrificing the precision of one's accompanying mouse.
The Aimpad isn't an actual product just yet. However, a Kickstarter campaign aims to bring the novel controller to fruition. Here's the official pitch video, which highlights the sort of situations where one might prefer analog input.
Right now, the plan is to offer 8-10 analog keys based on linear Cherry MX switches. On top of that, the Aimpad will feature 20-24 traditional keys backed by digital switches. Pinnacle Game Profiler software will be in charge of adapting the inputs for games that don't offer native support for the Aimpad. The software promises loads of flexibility, including on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments and extensive programmability options.
The Kickstarter campaign has only amassed about $7,000 thus far, so it has a long way to go before reaching the $159,999 target. The Aimpad isn't a cheap proposition, either. Backers have to shell out at least $119 to secure one of the controllers, and the asking price jumps to $139 when the first 119 units run out. According to the current schedule, the final units will ship out in February 2015. Backers who shell out $799 will get a beta prototype this summer.
If you're curious, more details are available on the official Aimpad site. The current prototype will also be demoed at PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts later this week.