Background

It doesn't matter which experiment generator you use to run your computer-based Psychology experiments the Black Box ToolKit hand-held USB response button helps improve your millisecond reaction time (RT) accuracy in custom applications or where a BBTK USB response pad cannot be used.

Truly plug in and play as our USB response button appears to your computer as a second keyboard and each external button press produces a standard key press!

Works on any platform including iPads, Android tablets and phones. Ask us for a quote now.

Millisecond accurate hand-held USB response button key features


Simply plug into a USB port on your PC/Mac/Linux system and our hand-held button will appear as a second keyboard. Also works on any platform including Apple iPads, Android tablets and phones with appropriate adapter. Press the button and a standard keystroke will be sent to your experiment.

No need for drivers, no need to recode! Works out of the box with E-Prime, SuperLab, Presentation, Inquisit, PsychoPy or any other software or platform that can accept standard keyboard responses.

The hand-held response button is intended for custom applications where our 1-8 button USB response pad cannot be used.

Our response buttons aim to reduce inconsistencies and improve your Response Time accuracy compared with using standard keyboards, mice or competitors devices.

*Remember although our hand-held USB response button hardware is millisecond accurate and helps reduce RT variability in your experiments it cannot automatically correct for any mistimings that are inherent within the experiment generator or other hardware you use.

For example, if your experiment generator presents an image and does not check for a response in a timely fashion, your OS intervenes, or an anti-virus check runs, your Response Times will remain inaccurate regardless of the quality of the response device. What | Why | How

Key features

  • One button millisecond accurate response device
  • Single high quality push-to-make/momentary button
  • Full-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0)
  • Supplied with 2.0m USB A male cable (like a keyboard)
  • Appears as second standard HID compliant keyboard
  • Fully Plug and Play
  • Windows/Mac/Linux compatible
  • iOS & Android compatible for tablets and phones
  • Sends a standard keystroke when button is pressed
  • Easily select a response keystroke to use
  • Reliably detects button presses in millionths of a second
  • Registers button presses and sends keystrokes in under one millisecond*

Typical uses

The hand-held response button is used in custom applications where high accuracy and reliability is required and our 1-8 button USB response pad is unsuitable. It has a single high quality push-to-make button/momentary switch housed in a rubberized ergonomically designed grip.

For larger orders you have the option of changing how the cable terminates rather than using an adapter for tablet or phone platforms. Maximum cable length is 5 m as per USB 2.0 specifications.


Technical specifications

  • Robust ergonomically designed rubber grip  -- Dimensions: 80 mm x 20 mm diameter (LxDia)
  • 1x high quality push-to-make/momentary button
  • Full-Speed USB 2.0 (USB 3.0 compatible)
  • Appears to the host PC/Mac/Linux system as a standard HID keyboard (no drivers required)
  • iOS & Android compatible for tablets and phones
  • Meets full USB HID keyboard specifications
  • Easily configure which keystroke is sent when the button is pressed
  • Stores selected keystroke even when powered off
  • Checks for a button press 130,208 times a second (130.2 kHz sampling rate)
  • Typical time to recognize a button press 13.9 millionths of a second (13.9 s)
  • Typical time to transmit keystroke(s) to PC after detecting a button down 161 millionths of a second (161 s) -- transmitted on first available USB packet
  • Typical time to recognize a button up 75 millionths of a second (75 s)
  • 50 ms button up debounce (a button has to be cleanly up for 50 ms before a key up signal is sent to the PC)#
#This can add 50 ms to button down durations onsets or RT's are unaffected as these are sent to the host PC immediately. ALL standard keyboards and other response boxes typically have longer debouncing periods.

*Remember although our hand-held USB response buttons are millisecond accurate and help reduce RT variability in your experiments they can't automatically correct for any mistimings that are inherent within the experiment generator you use. Hardware capable of sub-millisecond accuracy. Timing accuracy tied to PC or experiment generator used.

Unless otherwise labelled, all products offered for sale by The Black Box ToolKit Ltd are for academic study and/or research use only.

About company


The Black Box Toolkit Ltd was founded in 2003 by a team of psychologists, software experts and electronic engineers.


Dedicated to improving the millisecond timing accuracy and experimental rigor of researchers in the behavioral and brain sciences.

We provide hardware, software and consultancy solutions across a wide range of fields to make this a reality. Print flyer

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    +44 (0)114 3030056
  • Email:
    info@blackboxtoolkit.com
  • Address:
    The Black Box ToolKit Ltd,
    PO Box 3802, Sheffield,
    S25 9AG, UK