Hands On: Palette Modular Photo Editing Controls

Editing without Palette is like shooting photos with a single button, while editing with the system is like shooting with enough buttons and dials that you don’t have to take your eye from the viewfinder to make adjustments. Palette allows you to edit without taking your eyes off the image to find a keyboard shortcut and, in many cases, can make a pretty significant dent in the time spent on each photo. While there were a few minor hang ups and a few settings that I wished I could assign to a control, Palette is a very well thought out system and is certainly worth a look for anyone who spends a significant amount of time editing photo

To find Silicon Valley's latest hunting ground for engineering talent, start at Stanford University-then drive northeast for about 40 hours. The University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, has become a magnet for recruiters at Google parent Alphabet Inc., Electronic Arts Inc. and Inc., who seek the school's entrepreneurially minded engineering graduates.

In just a few decades, the humble computer mouse has gone from cutting-edge technology to a rather ubiquitous device - and, in fact, one that seems a little outdated in an era of holograms and hoverboards. Trackpads and touch screens have already cast doubt on whether mice are the proper input method for modern computing, but neither has managed to kill it entirely.

Build Your Own Controller In A Snap With Palette

A new modular controller called Palette has started to ship. Made up of fader, knob, and button modules that snap together via magnet, Palette hooks up to your laptop via USB through its core module, which is the heart of the entire system. You then build your controller around it, adding up to 18 modules in total. It comes with an app that you run on your PC/Mac, which acts as the conduit between Palette and your software.

Early in September, Palette participated in IFA Berlin, an electronics show based in Europe that attracts 245,000 international visitors and 1,600 vendors, as nominees for the International Design Centre Berlin's UX Design Awards. While demoing its Palette kits and talking to customers, the Kitchener-Waterloo company also managed to snag a Gold award under the category of disruptive interface.

At first glance, Palette looks like a piece of an audio mixing board or maybe a fancy controller for a video game. In reality, however, it’s a customizable input device designed to add tactile controls for photo editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

After raising $158,470 through Kickstarter two years ago, Palette today launched its modular control interface to help photographers take their photo editing workflow to the next level. In case you haven't heard of it yet, Palette is a modular system of magnetically connected sliders, dials, and buttons that help photographers (and other creatives) do their work through precise physical touch rather than with on-screen digital controls.

Palette crowdfunded its unique modular controller in the hopes of giving you customizable, hands-on control over your creative apps, and it's finally ready to make that technology available to everyone. As of today, you can pre-order Palette kits that scale up depending on just how much tactile fine-tuning you want.

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