Bladepad is a detachable, slide-out video game controller for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and 5th Generation iPod Touch. Bladepad was developed to provide a protective case for your iPhone or iPod Touch as well as a full-console gamepad that connects to the phone via Bluetooth.
The goal was to create a mobile device that had the full capabilities and familiarity of a console controller.
“Bladepad is a revolutionary idea. Mercury understood that by applying our expertise to the gamepad's development, we could help make the hardware a best-in-class product.”
Bladepad representatives contacted Mercury Development in early 2012 to create a simple software development kit (SDK) that game developers could add to their iPhone games to enable the Bladepad to work with those applications. Mercury was selected from several developers because of the company’s extensive experience with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and intricate graphic interfaces.
Compared to Bluetooth, BLE provides reduced power consumption and lower cost, while maintaining a comparable communication range. Bladepad needed an optimized SDK to streamline the integration process. The core challenge was to establish seamless communication between the Bladepad controller and the iPhone without using classic Bluetooth technology.
“After the creation of the SDK, it was determined that an additional benefit – and natural continuation of the project – would be the creation of a plug-in for the Unity 3D game engine, which is widely used by mobile game developers. To ensure a fully successful product launch, support for the major game engines is imperative. While the original SDK worked well with native games and game engines implemented in Objective-C, Unity 3D is an extremely valuable cross-platform script engine.”
Bladepad is a Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy game controller. Mercury has extensive experience delivering solutions for BLE devices, which enabled them to deliver the project on-time and with the highest quality. Mercury delivered the preview build of the SDK shortly after receiving the Bladepad test unit. By working closely with the Bladepad hardware team, Mercury was able to confirm the solution’s optimal functionality for both novice and skilled developers.
Aware that performance optimization as instant feedback is a necessity for games, Mercury carefully profiled the unit and SDK source code to detect any performance issues. Testing included steps to ensure joystick accuracy, including the implementation of a special calibration application that corrects the physical response curve, resulting in the increased precision of the product.
Early users of Bladepad were astounded with its compact and developer-friendly design.
“The Bladepad SDK is incredibly easy to integrate. With its simple APIs, supporting documents, and quality sample applications, other developers should be lining up to adopt it.”
We have collected some statistics in order so that you can really see the usefulness of this device.
“The Mercury Development team has done an amazing job of creating unmatched software architecture. The features and capabilities their team has added have positioned Bladepad to be a leader in the mobile game controller industry.”