By day, Wataru Kami is a concept artist at a production company in Tokyo, Japan. By night, he is a seasoned hardware tinkerer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a soldering iron.

More recently, the Japanese designer put his two passions together to create what is surely one of the most useful computer peripherals you can buy for less than $30, the BrushKnob.

The result of over a year of sketching during breaks at work and developing proof of concept prototypes at home in the evenings, the BrushKnob is a dead-simple control device that allows digital creatives to intuitively operate creative application tools via a single knob and button:

In Kami’s case, the device was built and tested while sketching in Photoshop – so his primary explorations for the device include controlling the brush size and switching between the brush and eraser tools. However, the computer recognizes BrushKnob as an extra keyboard and when the knob is turned or the single button is pressed, the system interprets the signals as any common customized keyboard shortcut for whichever application you happen to be working in without the need for time-sucking driver downloads and installations.


Says Kami:

“I am very confident that artists and creators throughout the world will find this prototype a useful and nifty tool to have. It is my dream for BrushKnob to eventually be bundled in a proper package and delivered to people around the world.”

Currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, the $28 (or 2 for $54) device is already over 90% towards meeting the campaign goal of $10K with nearly three weeks left to go.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.