Will Sensel Share The Magnetic Overlay Detection?

Now that the morph is going away, will Sensel share how to use the magnet system to automatically detect custom overlays? I assume the Sensel App will stop working within the year, so how can we continue to use our different custom overlays? Anyone have any ideas? It would be great if we could have a way to swap custom overlays once the app is no longer functional.

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Not sure about your magnets question.

I would assume the Sensel App won’t be deactivated; AFAIK, it runs locally and doesn’t rely on cloud support. Support will be ending for it in July.

As posted above! The app still works.

I haven’t come across any pattern guides that indicate which magnet positions designate which overlay. I don’t know if Sensel has set aside a magnet position arrangements that tells Morph that the user has created a DIY overlay.

I suppose you could use the following page to help you figure out how to DIY your own overlay, by way of magnet positions from the Innovator’s overlay. : Material Whirl: Building Overlays with The Sensel Morph

I know the app works. I also know that it will not be updated. I have a mac, and macOS gets updated pretty regularly. Oftentimes, when this happens, apps need to be updated to continue working, so likely the Sensel app will not work in the not too distant future.

Everyone at Sensel has always been incredibly helpful in sharing so much information about the morph, but every time someone asked about the magnetic detection system (the way the morph recognizes each overlay automatically) we would be told that it is proprietary. What I’m saying is, since Sensel will no longer be producing the morph, will they share that formerly proprietary information, so that we can use and swap our custom overlays once the Sensel App is no longer functional?

Thanks. I’ve looked at that info. Over the years, several people have asked the question about sharing how the magnetic system recognizes the morph overlays. Sensel customer service and the Sensel staff on this forum have been incredibly helpful, but they have always refused to share how the morph recognizes the overlays without the app. I guess I’m really asking the question for the Sensel staff, since I know none of the customers know how the overlay detection system works. So, anyone who works at Sensel, will you share this information? Or, are you going to provide an alternative solution? Maybe selling magnets that the morph can detect?

It will likely be a long time before the app is dysfunctional. One area that was discussed for potential open source is the format of the .senselmap format, along with some C (or similar) examples of how to send that map format to the morph via a serial connection. This will likely take some time and persuasion to make happen, but it is not out of the question.


The morph itself doesn’t require the App to recognize the overlays. That is done in the firmware and requires no drivers or app.

Anything that you can do to help the community carry on when Sensel ends support for the Morph would be greatly appreciated!

They don’t seem to care about helping users of the Morph, unfortunately… That said, there was some discussion of the magnets here:

The app better never become ‘dysfunctional’, its core to the equipment purchases which is useless without it. Core ‘pre-designed’ overlays are horrible, the innovator + app was and is the bread and butter for anyone who seriously works with the Morph, so it must keep running in some way in the future.

must keep running in some way in the future

what’s likely to happen is as OSes get updated, eventually one of the updates will break the app, and Sensel won’t fix it. This happened to me with another device that depended on an iOS app. And now I can’t interface with the device :man_facepalming:t2: This is one of the unfortunate side-effects of closed-source apps for devices that get abandoned…

The only solutions to this, besides Sensel maintaining their app, would be to keep an OS unupdated to keep compatibility, or reverse engineering the app so it can be ported to newer OSes (which is what some people have been doing with my aforementioned abandoned device)

The only solutions to this…

Another way of dealing with this issue (assuming it’s a primary requirement, and for me it definitely is) is to use an OS for which backward compatibility is a primary concern of the people maintaining the OS. There are huge differences between OSes in this regard.


Exactly. This is why I wish they would just share the magnetic detection system with us (or sell us them). That way, when the app eventually stops working we could still use multiple custom overlays.

I don’t believe simply knowing how the magnets work will help you in “custom overlays”. There are 4x magnets used for encoding the overlay’s ID - utilizing their polarity and position. Overlays from Sensel have certain IDs, which I think are already mapped to particular functionality in the Morph’s firmware. If they aren’t then they’re in the Sensel App, which as mentioned previously, will break if the OS is updated past the point that the app supports.

As for “custom overlays”, if you want to use more than the standard “Innovator’s Overlay” and have multiple ones that are recognized differently, then you’re going to need a working app that supports that level of customization. They’re probably not going to bother to add that new feature to a product they’ve discontinued.
If you’d be satisfied with just using their “Innovator’s Overlay”, then you could just copy the 4x magnets into whatever overlay you produce. Then you’d need the working app to change what configuration was loaded onto the overlay.

What you’re asking for is an expansion of functionality in their app, and disclosing their "super secret 4x magnet encoding schema. Unless there’s a miraculous change of heart in someone who works/worked there, that’s not going to happen :sob:

For the sake of preserving functionality and creating updated copies of Sensel Overlays, someone should probably start a Wiki somewhere that maps the location and polarity of each of the 4x ID magnets for each official overlay. That way people will be able to reference that when placing the magnets.

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Also keep in mind that
a) they still own the design and technology in using the spacing as a “key”. that’s not open source. That technology will likely go into other equipment and create opportunities for sensel.
b) the future has yet to be written. There could be other morph able controllers or a follow up to this one.