As big as gaming has become on smartphones, the lack of buttons or analog sticks can make more traditional experiences difficult and clunky. A new device, coco, is aiming to fix that problem.
Coco, pictured above, is a case for the iPhone that adds a directional pad, an analog stick, and four face and two shoulder buttons. While similar devices, like the iCade, require Bluetooth to work, coco connects through the audio jack. This allows it to work without charging or syncing.
The controller’s creators, Connor Zwick (left) and Colton Gyulay, took a leave of absence from Harvard to establish their company, Milkshake Labs. ”I was flying back to school with Colton, my fellow cofounder, and I was trying to play a game on my iPhone. And it was terrible,” Zwick said. “So I said half-jokingly, ‘This is going to be my next project, what coco is today.’ I developed a prototype in the weeks following, and we decided to pursue it full-time over this summer. “
Coco will be available for the iPhone 4, 4S, and the iPod Touch. Milkshake Labs will also make a version to work with the next version of Apple’s popular smartphone. The coco cofounders (try saying that three times fast) are also working on support for Android- and Windows-based phones.
An app for the controller can also add connectivity to Apple TV, a device that can sync a mobile iOS machine to a television, allowing for mirroring and dual-screen play. This effectively turns the Apple TV into a gaming console, with coco acting as the controller.
Milkshake Labs is seeking crowdfunding for coco via the site Kickstarter. Controllers will be available for preorder to contributors.