Tag Archives: remote control

Wearable Remote Control (3)

Idea
A wearable remote control.
Project developed for the Dynamic Interfaces Class, in collaboration with Apon Palanuwech and Ayodamola Okunseinde.

Development
Though our last prototype with the wrist band worked, we wanted to make the one with the sock work. The shape seemed to fit better the function.12

We sew a foam to the sock, to prevent the plastic from collapsing like last time. We also tried to isolate the circuit as much as we could.

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Even so, the results were different each time. It varied depending on wether we were using the Arduino Uno or the Fio, if it was connected to the computer through USB or Wi-Fly…

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…and if we were touching or not the board. That led us to a problem discussed in the Capacitive Sensor tutorial: the board needs to be grounded. The page also explains a lot of problems we had, like the laptop acting as a sensor too when connected to the board.
After that, we gave up on the Fio/Wi-fly and decided to work with the regular Uno, for this prototype.
For the software part, we added calibration and “tap detection.” Now we finally have it controlling a video!

Wearable Remote Control (2)

Idea
A wearable remote control.
Project developed for the Dynamic Interfaces Class, in collaboration with Apon Palanuwech and Ayodamola Okunseinde.

Software Development
a) 1st Prototype

After building a relatively stable device to measure conductivity along 2 axys (see previous post), we started working on the software. Though our purpose was to build a simple remote control, we started to test with a sort of trackpad — big mistake, maybe?
For this prototype, we used processing and serial communication.
We first tried to assign an absolute position to the ball, based on the finger position on the trackpad. That proved to be impossible, because people’s charge on the pad changed a lot.
So we made the charge give the ball a direction, like in a joystick — the direction from the pad’s center is translated as a new direction to the ball.

b) 2nd Prototype
After that, we translated the processing sketch to javascript and changed the functions to control a video on the browser.

Hardware Development
a) 5th (?) Prototype

Meanwhile, we replicated the hardware circuit in a non-rigid device, to make it wearable. We sewed the conductive plastic on felt…

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…and the on a sock:10

Though it looked great as a super-like thing, the plastic collapsed and became very low conductive:
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Hardware Development
b) 6th Prototype

A much simpler and more stable solution was achieved when we simply put the plastic on an E.V.A. wrist band:
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Wearable Remote Control (1)

Idea
A wearable remote control. Basic simple functions, like rewind, fast-forward, volume up and down, and play/pause.
The concept plays with the idea that we’re always losing our remote controls, then the best place to have them would be in our bodies.
Project developed for the Dynamic Interfaces Class, in collaboration with Apon Palanuwech and Ayodamola Okunseinde.

Hardware Development
a) 1st Prototype
The project started with a different product in mind. We wanted to build a keyboard embedded in our pants. Maybe using Engelbart’s Chorded Keyboard to reduce the number of keys needed.
We began by experimenting with conductive ink and paper.
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That didn’t work out. Maybe because the ink is not that conductive, maybe because it was a complete mess.
But we also started to rethink the concept from an user’s perspective. What device would make sense as a wearable-remote? A five-finger keyboard probably wouldn’t. That’s how we got to the remote control.

b) 2nd Prototype
We started to experiment with a prototype that Ayo has previously developed. It uses aluminum foil and conductive fabric to create a sort of resistive sensor.

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We made some tests using conductive fabric too, but it all seemed too unstable and low-conductive.
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c) 3rd Prototype
We changed the material to conductive plastic and it worked better. This prototype uses the Arduino Capacitive Sensing Library, and the circuit is mounted pretty much like in the library’s tutorial. However, we put two wires, one in each side of the stripe. By doing so, we could measure an approximate distance from the finger to the wires.04 05

c) 4th Prototype
With the basic functionality solved, we added two more wires to get readings from the two axys (x and y). We also tried to solve some isolation and conductivity problems by using cardboard, cooper tape, conductive plastic and alligator clips.06

Next steps
Software development: serial communication, filter the data.