Back in May, Ootsidebox introduced the 3Dpad, a sophisticated touchless gesture control interface with a depth perception of 10cm.
The platform – which made its Indiegogo debut last month – comprises three primary components:
“To detect the proximity of the human hand or finger, we use the projected capacitive technique. This is the principle of virtually all modern touch screens – except that now we are in the air, relatively far away from the detector surface (10 cm max). So we build capacitors which are as ‘open’ as possible, using electrodes drawn on the electrode plane PCB in order to obtain a maximum ‘hand effect,’” 3Dpad creator Jean-Noël explained.
“[Meanwhile], the capacitors formed by the electrodes are part of an oscillator whose frequency is influenced by the distance of a hand. When it enters the electrostatic field, this ‘intruder’ is going to cut the field lines and divert the electrical charges. The closer the hand approaches the electrodes, the more the oscillator’s frequency increases.”
Recently, Jean-Noël told Bits & Pieces that Ootsidebox is working with Matlab to create a 3Dpad Arduino shield as a Simulink block.
“After a discussion we had with MathWorks, we decided to make the 3Dpad Arduino shield available as a Simulink block, downloadable from MATLAB central,” he explained.
“We are convinced that this solution, which enables graphical programing, is one of the best ways to learn and experiment with Arduino.”
In addition, says Jean-Noël, the Ootsidebox team is designing a MIDI controller for electronic music built around the 3Dpad.
“It will be based on 3Dpad shield + an Atmel-based Arduino Mega,” he added. “Making a ‘virtual percussion’ system with few 3Dpad synchronized sounds good!”