Chicago Based Joystickers Launches New Line of iPad, Touchscreen Products

By February 23, 2011

“I was playing a FPS (First Person Shooter) on my iPad and was hitting the button to shoot this guy and I ended up getting shot in the face repeatedly because my thumb kept missing the virtual button. I vowed not to be fragged again.” With that vow by co-founder Anthony Cerra, Joystickers was born.

Anthony Cerra and Russ Hakimiyan are both engineers by day and stealth entrepreneurs by night. “We work with some people that are dying to know what we are working on,” said Hakimiyan. “One guy we work with is convinced we are building an app that makes iPhones into remote controls,” he laughed. “So Anthony and I put fake posts about it on each others’ Facebook pages to keep him off the scent.”

What they duo ARE making is ‘classics’ (buttons) that by virtue of micro-suction, stick to the screen of a touch device and act just like a traditional analog button on a gaming device.

When I pointed out the irony that they were making a button for a device that was invented to do away with buttons, Cerra said, “I’m not getting fragged again.” He looked serious. “When you are playing a game,” he said, “you cannot replace the tactile sensation of our classics. You are more accurate.”

Joystickers has been bootstrapped so far but the pair just got their project approved on Kickstarter and it went live yesterday. “We want to raise $30,000,” said Hakimiyan. “Kickstarter is great for this because our problem is an economy of scale. The $30,000 in pre-orders will allow us to get a good price on the manufacturing of the classics.”

In addition to the ‘classics’ buttons, Joystickers has produced a touchpad paintbrush called the ‘Flow’ and a stylus called a ‘Scribe.’ (see video)

I had a chance to use the Flow and the Scribe and I’ll admit I was impressed with the quality. They were both very accurate and while I am no artist I could immediately see the benefits for digital artists.

“Eventually we will offer a range of brushes with different widths for finer work,” said Cerra, “along with a range of other projects. First we need to get off the ground.”

To do that, Joystickers has 30 days to raise $30,000 through Kickstarter. For people that donate, there are different levels of rewards offered involving the products Joystickers is making.

To check out their project, follow the link here:

Joystickers on Kickstarter