Fund this: Keychain game controller for smartphones and tablets

The iMpulse is small enough to ride around in your pocket. It connects via Bluetooth and provides game controls, a remote camera shutter, and even a key-finder.

Unlike most wireless game controllers currently in development, the iMpulse is small enough to ride shotgun on your keychain.
Unlike most wireless game controllers currently in development, the iMpulse is small enough to ride shotgun on your keychain. Black Powder Media

How many smartphone or tablet games have you abandoned in disgust because your fat fingers couldn't master the onscreen controls or blocked too much of the action?

The solution, of course, is a game controller, one that connects wirelessly and is therefore compatible with most any mobile device. Just one problem: most of the controllers currently in development are on the larger side, meaning they're not practical to tote around in a pocket. So much for gaming on the go.

Black Powder Media's iMpulse is a Bluetooth-powered game controller that's small enough to attach to your keychain.

Indeed, it's billed as the world's smallest game controller, measuring just 2.7 inches by 1.3 inches by 0.6 inch (though those dimensions are subject to change).

The iMpulse consists of a console-style thumb-stick and five buttons. It connects via Bluetooth, so it's compatible with Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. According to the developer, it'll work with hundreds of iOS games, or thousands of games if you have an Android or unlocked iOS device.

The gizmo serves other purposes as well. It can remotely trigger your phone's camera, which is great for self portraits and tripod-based photography. It can control media playback (volume, track selection, etc.), much like the pricier (and non-game-friendly) Satechi BT Media Remote . And it can help you locate a misplaced keychain via its companion app.

Check out the promo video, then meet me below for some parting thoughts.

Black Powder Media is looking for $49,999 to fully fund the iMpulse. As of this writing, it's about 20 percent of the way there, with 43 days to go. The early-bird $25 pledge option is sold out, but you can still buy in for as little as $30. (The company says it expects the iMpulse to sell for at least $40 at retail.)

Confession: I've written about a lot of cool-sounding Kickstarter projects, but I've never actually pledged one. Today I made my first pledge -- not because I'm a hard-core gamer, but because I just love this idea.

What do you think?

 

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