Arduino as computer/software interface? (Advice Please)

Hi, I'm new to Arduino/electronics and want to make a hardware interface with buttons and potentiometers that will control software on a PC (maybe even manipulate a database eventually).

A good example of my goal might be a quiz game in which questions are asked on the PC/software. The contestant uses their interface (the ardunio) to 'buzz' in, select answers and dial in a rating with their potentiometer. Based on the input from the contestant through the interface, the software will react.

EG, each button may do some of the following within the software: - Play sound (instantly, without delay - The buzzer) - Control actions on screen or make selections (choose answer) - Change variable numbers on screen (potentiometer - rate something out of 100)

I'd also like the computer to send feedback back to the interface that could: - Display data on small screen (numbers - the score, etc) - Turn LEDS on/off (which round or active contestant) - Trigger alarm sound on speaker (when contestant buzzes in or gets answer correct/wrong)

Is this possible and failry easy to achieve with Arduino Uno, if so what is the delay between inteface and PC reaction? Any advice regarding the feasibility of the project? Is it just a USB interface between Arduino and the PC?

Suggestions and feedback are greatly appreciated :)

It sounds that you want something like firmata: http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/Firmata http://firmata.org/wiki/Main_Page

Please take a look to my project. www.ardulink.org

You can receive messages from Arduino and make what you want on a PC. See my ready console screen shots here : http://www.ardulink.org/screen-shots/

And understand messages here: http://www.ardulink.org/ardulink-messages/