As always, mods, if this is covered somewhere else, please move it.
Today, I received an announcement that the Sensel Morph was no more. It’s a really striking contrast with the approach that’s been discussed in the Mutable Instruments thread.
Will the SenselApp continue to work on my computer after July 2022?
There will not be any new releases or support after July 2022. After that, we cannot guarantee that the SenselApp will continue to work on new operating systems.
Will there be any more firmware or software updates?
No, there won’t be any more updates.
Will the software and firmware be open-sourced?
Unfortunately, no. As a technology company, our livelihood is in the intellectual property of our products. The Morph software and firmware contain proprietary processes that would compromise that IP.
We did explore this option, but even providing the most elemental operation - the means for communication between the sensor array and the MCU - would make public things that Sensel needs to keep private in order to exist.
The SenselApp similarly contains proprietary code that cannot be isolated without a ground-up rewrite.
Can I load firmware from a local file?
Now, I’m actually fine with companies changing direction and/or stopping making stuff. But this basically means that once operating systems update, people will lose basic functionality. This has always been an issue with software, but it’s very disappointing to see in app-dependent hardware.
I realize not everything can be open source, but if an instrument is going to be abandoned, its users should be able to use it as intended for as long as it works. Third parties should be able to repair so long as there are parts. Roger Linn has this approach with the Linnstrument, and obviously, Mutable Instruments does too.
My own approach to purchasing hardware is not to buy anything that has to have an app to work.
People often talk about obsolescence as if it’s inevitable like aging. But obsolescence is something that is actively produced. Things can be made that will outlast the people who made them. It’s too bad that the music tech world doesn’t make this a higher priority.