FlipGrip: Read books while running. No, seriously.

FlipGrip in the handThose who’ve been following me for a while will know that reading books on the treadmill is kinda my thing. But what you might not know is how annoying it has always been to actually flip the pages. For years, I’ve been forced to keep a keyboard balanced on the console, just so I could hit the PageDown button every now and then. When I was actively writing ImmerseOrDie reviews, having the keyboard there was a necessity. I mean, how else would I have made notes on what I was reading? But in truth, running is an endeavor best pursued with your hands free. Have you ever tried to jog while carrying a pie? Sounds awkward, right? Well if it’s anything like running while typing, then I can tell you that it is. Very awkward.

Over the years, I’ve tried a number of different solutions to the problem – mice, trackballs, fancy handheld keyboards. You name it, I’ve tried it. But I could never find the “just right” solution: something comfortable, simple, and highly portable.

So this week, I built one.

I call it the FlipGrip, and it couldn’t be much simpler. Just a small cylinder that fits neatly into a semi-clenched fist, with 2 push-buttons mounted on it. One to send the PageForward command, and another to send PageBack. And since it connects over USB, it appears as a standard keyboard, so there’s no need for any driver software on the computer. Plus, that USB cable means I don’t have to worry about batteries running down or interference over Bluetooth or WiFi.

And for those rare times when I’m listening to music instead of reading, it even has a mode where I can send Play/Pause and NextTrack instead of the ebook paging commands.

It’s may not be rocket science, but it has definitely improved my treadmill time. And anything that can make treadmilling more endurable may actually play a role in saving my life, so that’s gotta be a win, too. Right?

Project Files are here (on PrusaPrinters.org)

Vibrating a guitar string in Blender

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.