PhoneJoy wants to turn handsets into consoles

We’ve seen quite a few smartphone game controllers turn up on Kickstarter and other sites in recent months.

The latest to seek crowd-sourced funding? A device known as the PhoneJoy Play, which can best be described as an expanding controller with a variety of physical buttons and control sticks for smartphone gaming.

The designers of the controller say it will work with Android or iOS devices and even supports PCs. One of the coolest features? It expands and collapses down into a stubby little controller. When the user pulls on both sides, it expands significantly allowing a smartphone to be neatly sandwiched between the two halves of the controller.

The controller boasts four buttons, a start button, and an analog stick on the right side along with two shoulder buttons on top. The left side has a D-pad, a button for back, and an adjustable analog stick along with two shoulder buttons. The controller will be offered in black or white colors.

The PhoneJoy Play measures 102 mm wide by 87 mm high by 37 mm deep when closed. When fully extended it measures 255 mm wide by 87 mm high by 37 mm deep. The controller weighs about 250 g and supports smartphones up to 153 mm wide and 14 mm thick. The controller connects to the smartphone using Bluetooth 3.0 and supports a wireless range of up to 30 feet.

Power for the controller comes from an internal rechargeable battery good for 20 hours of play per charge. The controller – which is equipped with 14 programmable buttons – can be used in one of four modes including HID Gamepad, HID Keyboard, iCade, and Mouse mode. The controller promises support for over 300 games available on Android or iOS devices.

The cheapest pledge that will get you one of these controllers is $50 with an estimated delivery date of April 2013. The project is seeking $50,000 to fund and has 28 days to go with nearly $10,000 raised so far.