fabricgesturecontroller.jpg

I recognize the conductive stretch fabric used in this project from the Less EMF sample pack; it’s luxurious and lovely to touch. Adrian Freed at the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies at UC Berkeley made this multitouch gesture controller:

The fabric is stretched in an embroidery hoop and draped over an inverted circular bowl. A piece of conductive plastic cut in a special shape forms a corolla on the surface of the bowl. The tips of each petal are folded inside the bowl and taped with conducting adhesive copper tape. The microcontroller board measures the electrical resistances of these petals from their tip to a common center established with a conductor at the flat of the bowl. As the conductive stretchable fabric (the “calyx” to complete the flower analogy) is displaced towards the bowl it shorts out different lengths of each conductive plastic petal. The result is a circular array of nearly mass-less displacement sensors. The gesture-to-displacement relationship changes according to distance from the center of the bowl (variable “gearing)”. This allows for several different playing styles.

I can’t wait to see learn more about this, particularly a video of it in action. Via Hackaday.

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Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).


  • Bob Carlson

    Is that a fabric gesture controller or are you just happy to see me?

  • MrCrumley

    Yeah, I’m sorry… if you’re gonna demonstrate a gesture response device using stretchy fabric… DON’T SET IT ON YOUR LAP! That’s creepy.

  • Mistercrunch

    I think this boner hiding device needs a little more work.

  • gypsonite

    This is just too much… hehehehe.