Jean-Noël says projected capacity is the primary principle behind his Atmel-powered Ootsidebox.
“An electric field projected in front of the existing touch surface is [affected] by movements of the hand,” he recently told Elektor.
“By measuring the perturbations of an oscillator caused by the movement of the user’s fingers (or any object, for that matter) at several centimeters from the control surface it is possible to calculate 3D coordinates and recognize certain gestures.”
According to Jean-Noël, the underlying technology is based on e-field analysis, which offers “touchless” gesture-based interaction for a wide range applications, including mobile devices such as tablets, along with portable game consoles, electronic cookbooks and healthcare equipment.
“As potential customers for this innovation, we are addressing the DIY community of Makers, hackers, modders and independent game developers,” he told Bits & Pieces in an interview conducted via e-mail.
“This is really an open source and open hardware project that is compatible with the Arduino IDE. Even the mechanical parts will be designed in a way that they will be easy to print in 3D. This way you will be free to make your own custom version.”
Jean-Noël also noted that he specifically chose the versatile AT90USB1286 Atmel microcontroller (MCU) to power his invention.
“The main benefits will be the easy integration in Arduino’s ecosystem, along with the existence of a great and powerful community,” he explained. “One of the [primary] keys to [ensuring] success in a crowdfunding campaign is building a fan community that will help us spread the word.”
Jean-Noël has already presented the Atmel-powered Ootsidebox at a wide range of hacker and maker venues, including the San Francisco HackerSpace and various Fablabs in France. Jean-Noël has also clinched a partnership with the Elektor/CircuitCellar Group.
“As I said, this project is 100% open and we invite everyone to participate on Twitter. Just post your questions and suggestions here: @OOTSIDEBOX, while including the hashtag #AtmelBlog. I’ll answer you personally,” he added.