[Lab] Touch sensitive/reactive windows

Jean-Marc LeBlanc jeanmarc.leblanc at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 09:35:15 EDT 2011

I think the transducers might be the cheapest way to go.  you could
mount one on each corner and should me able to pick up window press.
You can get a huge stack for only a few dollars.  Its just ceramic.

Jean-Marc Le Blanc

"Do you pine for the nice days of Minix-1.1, when men were men and
wrote their own device drivers?" Linus Torvalds

On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 9:56 PM, Darcy Whyte <darcy at siteware.com> wrote:
> Sounds like an interesting challenge given that it needs to scale. Here are
> some things that have popped into my mind.
> 1) What about mounting each window on piezoelectric transducers. Or perhaps
> two grommets and one transducer per window. It can then detect micro
> pressure change and sound with just one transducer. I bet this could be
> extremely sensitive.
> 2) If a whole matrix of windows was just one pane of material mounted on
> transducers, I wonder if you could guess where the pressure is based on the
> differences in pressure at the mounting points.
> One thing that comes to mind with these transducers as they will pick up all
> sorts of things like tapping, scratching, pressing and perhaps even more
> subtle things like loud noises outside the device. You could make different
> patterns of lights for different types of stimulus. Perhaps for a tap light
> could start at the point of contact and then radiate outward.across the
> matrix. A scratch could start a light pattern moving linearly. A press could
> radiate outward with increase in pressure. I suppose the pane of material
> might resonate and give some surprises.
> 3) A collection of small Web cams inside. I think this was discussed.
> If each matrix had more then one camera, monitoring it from a different
> vantage point, you might be able to get some interesting ways of figuring
> out which windows are being stimulated by the observer. Perhaps some cams
> can look outside the device without looking through the windows.
> An outside camera could look for faces, expressions (like a camera looks for
> smiles). This could be used to impact the behavior of the device.
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 14:30:59 -0400
> From: "Andrew O'Malley" <aomalley at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Lab] Touch sensitive/reactive windows
> To: lab <lab at artengine.ca>
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTi=1Z4yqN4vASt7xCQnTKPwnh_bXPXqFGNEnbcn- at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> Hi gang,
> I'm working on a an interactive light piece which is basically a large
> tower covered in windows:
> http://www.technoetc.net/imgs/urbana_2011_gameplay_2.png
> Each window will be translucent acrylic, and illuminated from behind.
> To provide interaction, I'd like each window to be touch sensitive.
> I'd like to use a capacitive sensing approach, but not sure if this
> will work until I do some experiments; I fear over such a large area
> capacitive sensing will be very noisy.
> In the meantime, I'd love to hear any suggestions anyone might have as
> to how to detect users touching the windows.  I'd like to avoid having
> to use little buttons beside each window or turning each window into a
> mechanical switch -- since there are 100+ windows, I'm looking for a
> solution that scales reasonably well.
> Light or IR sensors might be an option, but I imagine will require a
> great deal of calibration.  Does anyone have any experience sensing IR
> reflections through translucent or tinted acrylic?
> The piece is still in the design stage, so I'd love to hear your
> suggestions/comments.
> Thanks in advance for your consideration and suggestions,
> Andrew
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