Ever want to play the drums on your desk or maybe a piano on paper? How about make a book interactive or create your own interactive wall for teaching? Well, now you can.
Thanks to a new Kickstarter project launched by London based design studio, Bare Conductive—and their new hardware tool Touch Board—all of this and much more has been made possible.
Touch Board is a single board micro-controller that brings projects to life by turning practically any surface into a sensor. All you have to do is connect any conductive material to one of the touch board’s 12 electrodes to trigger sound or to infer distances from up to 20 cm away. That means tin foil, copper, circuits, and oh yes electrical paint are all fair game. The best part is you can hide the sensor with non-conductive materials such as glass or paper and it will still be able to function. It’s truly a super sensor.
So, how is the Touch Board able to work with so many different materials? The answer is simple: The Touch Board is able to achieve this because it uses the same technology that is found in many consumer electronic devices like smartphones called “capacitive sensing.” The difference is that the Touch Board is a simpler version of what is going on in those devices, making it easily accessible to those outside of the tech realm. It can easily be powered by USB or a 3.7V LiPo battery, has MP3 functionality, and has compatibility with existing Arduino components. It comes preprogrammed for easy startup, but can also be reprogrammed and tailored based on individual user’s needs.
Other great features of this product are:
-7 PWM channels
-12 analog input channels
-32 KB of Flash Memory
-VLSI VS1053B audio processor
-16 MHz clock speed
The truly remarkable aspect of this project however is not in the technical aspect, but in the values behind the company creating it. Bare Conductive—believes in open source hardware and software, so they have built this platform in accordance to open source licensing. This means that schematics, files and parts will all be available for download and sharing.
Video demonstration of the various projects the Touch Board can be used for:
The project is set to end in 28 days and has already reached its funding goal.
Want to see other ways in which capacitive sensors are being used? Check out these other articles TFOT has covered: wall paper sensors and Touché.