Featured in the CHI 2009 Design Showcase
Imagine controlling your favorite arcade game from childhood with the thrust and swing of your hips. Translate the joystick movements to your core -- you thrust your hips forward to make Ms. Pac-Man go up; you throw them back to go down. You move your hips left and right, forward and back, and move around the screen.
Absurd? Yes. Useful? Probably not. Fun? Absolutely. Let me introduce you to the Pelvotron.
WHAT IT IS
The Pelvotron, also known as the Pelvomatic 3000, is a game controller that translates your hip movements into the Up-Down-Left-Right movements of a gamepad or joystick -- it's a hip joystick. These movements are then used to control anything that accepts a USB keyboard. Game controls, typing, mouse movement -- it's all possible.
HOW IT WORKS
The technology in the Pelvotron is straight-forward -- the controller relies on a 3-axis accelerometer paired with a keyboard emulator. In other words, the controller is taking the analog values from the sensor and translating them into keystrokes. When attached to a computer that accepts USB keyboards, the operating system sees it as a keyboard and accepts the keystrokes like any other key input.
In the videos, you can see the controller connected to a computer running a game emulator -- the computer is running a version of Ms. Pac-Man and with the emulator controls changed to match the keystrokes. Just like that, you're controlling Ms. Pac-Man's movements with your hip gyrations.
To answer your unasked question -- yes, you can type emails with this controller (if you program it correctly).