Stinky Footboard Interview with Steven Rivard

Stinky Footboard LogoYou’ve heard me banging on about the Stinky Footboard, the new foot-controlled gaming controller making its way through Kickstarter at the moment. I’ve managed to get in contact with the CEO and Co-Founder of Stelulu Technologies Inc. the company behind the Stinky Footboard, Steven Rivard and he has very nicely agreed to answer a few of the questions I have about the Footboard, inventing and gaming.

So without wasting any more time, let’s kick off with an easy one…

Why did you decide to call it the ‘Stinky’ Footboard?

Funny you asked, it’s probably the most controversial part of the product.  It was the first name we came up with and it’s stuck with us. We had many other names but this one proved to be most memorable. We knew we had a great innovative product that did not stink and it resonated well for a product that you played with your feet – “STINKY – the gaming footboard.”

What has been the biggest challenge with the Stinky Footboard?

The biggest challenge in designing Stinky was to create a device to be used by your foot but to have the same performance as a mouse. It had to be responsive, sensitive, tactile, and full customizable.  It had to support your foot without activating the buttons, yet sensitive enough to quickly execute the action when required. We thought we could get it done quickly but in fact, it took us many rounds of prototyping before we got it right.

What is the best bit of advice you can give to other budding inventors?

Time flies by quickly.  If you have an idea, stop putting it off and go for it.  Don’t quit your day job at first…there’s no guarantees, maintain realistic expectations.

Do you think that you could ever have gotten this far without Kickstarter?

We’ve spent quite a bit of time (and money) on research and development and we’re using the funds to finance the first production. Kickstarter is great resource to launch your products and the exposure and backing has been priceless.

What is your workspace/office like? Crazily cluttered or painstakingly ordered?

The office for the most part is a mix of the two.  Depends on what were currently working on.  New projects tend to get us excited, which leads us to spend more time tinkering than cleaning.

Was there anything that you invented or wanted to invent as a child

I always looked for ways to do things in a simpler more efficient way but never invented anything beyond Lego or Meccano Mechs.

What games are you playing at the moment?

Currently playing Battlefield 3, World of Warcraft on PC and Dirt3 on PS3.

And if you had to choose only one video game to play for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

I would have to choose World of Warcraft.  The game has something for everyone and is continually being improved; you can play it more casually now and still enjoy it.

gordon freeman half lifeIf you could be any video game character, who would it be and why?

Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life series.  Is there anything better than being a theoretical physicist who also kicks ass?

What’s next? Is there anything else in the pipeline you can share with me?

We have a lot of new and innovative ideas in the works including an analogue version of the footboard for the VR fans out there. We’ve also been doing some internal testing involving the PS3 and XBOX consoles.

There you have it. If you do want to contribute to the Stinky Footboard and get yourself a nice bit of kit (and maybe some other goodies) head over to their Kickstarter page, but you don’t have long left. The Stinky Footboard kickstarter project finishes in 6 days.

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin is a freelance writer, living in Derby UK with his wife. When time allows he likes nothing more than losing himself in a multi-hour gaming session. He likes most games and will play anything but prefers MMO's, and sandbox RPG's.

So what do you think?

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