HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Blogs
Gadget Freak
Gadget Freak Case #214: Radio Touch Sensors Talk to the Smartphone
5/21/2012

< Previous   Image 2 of 2   

Without having to be activated, an audio tag describes a function when a control is touched.
Without having to be activated, an audio tag describes a function when a control is touched.

< Previous   Image 2 of 2   

Return to Article

View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Not Just Visually Impaired
Nancy Golden   5/21/2012 10:10:56 AM
NO RATINGS
Now that is a great idea. I can see this type of application having other uses as well. For those who are not technologically savvy, this would help them too. It could also be used for product demos.

MattO
User Rank
Iron
Re: Not Just Visually Impaired
MattO   5/22/2012 4:33:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Another application I considered was on the controls of e.g. a crane, so that the operator did not have to take his eyes off the load while finding which button or lever he needed. This would be more useful in training, as an experienced operator probably wouldn't need the voice prompt anymore.

I found in testing that once folk learned the layout of a new device using the audio tags, the voice then became annoying. So you need an 'off' switch!

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Not Just Visually Impaired
Nancy Golden   5/22/2012 4:40:25 PM
NO RATINGS
In that case MattO, it could be standard issue on cell phones too. Since people refuse to stop using them when they are driving - they could keep their eyes on the road when dialing.

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Not Just Visually Impaired
gsmith120   5/24/2012 5:11:22 AM
NO RATINGS
Excellent point Nancy another great use of this application.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not Just Visually Impaired
Rob Spiegel   5/24/2012 3:43:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Good idea, Matt. The idea of having an off swtich once the user learns how to use the system makes a lot of sense.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Much needed
NadineJ   5/21/2012 12:51:53 PM
NO RATINGS
This is really cool.  As a large part of the population (Boomers) continues to age, it will be needed.

Considering how many people I saw staring at the solar eclipse yesterday without proper eyewear, it may be needed by younger generations sooner than later!

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Much needed
Rob Spiegel   5/21/2012 3:05:55 PM
NO RATINGS
That's funny NadineJ. I was out there trying not to look at the sun yesterday. It was hard to resist. I couldn't see much. I tried the hole in the paper, but that wasn't very exciting. Finally I went to the CNN site to get a good view.

jhankwitz
User Rank
Platinum
Voice Over
jhankwitz   5/22/2012 9:36:43 AM
NO RATINGS
Great to see that the Blind are now able to use Android too.  Here at Industries for the Blind, all our people use iPhones because iOS has always had this capability built into the system.  Our blind workers are able to navigate their iPhones faster than I can. They just go into Settings > General > Accessibility > and turn 'Voice Over' ON.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Cool Application for the Arduino
mrdon   5/22/2012 3:53:27 PM
NO RATINGS
What a cool and beneficial device to aid the blind in using Consumer Electronic products. The Arduino is a great electronics hardware platform to use in developing all types of innovative consumer and industrial products. In terms of Smartphone applications, I'm developing a robot controller device using a Motorola DroidX smartphone, a LEGO NXT, and an Arduino. By touching the DroidX screen, I can control motors, LEDs, or high current devices with an Arduino being the primary control driver using Bluetooth tech. This controls application project is being develop for an Arduino book I'm currently writing for Apress books.

MattO
User Rank
Iron
Re: Cool Application for the Arduino
MattO   5/22/2012 4:29:52 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for your interest in the device. The electronics is so cheap to implement that I hope that manufacturers will implement it in their products as a routine, to help folk who can't see the controls easily.

I look forwards to seeing your book from Apress.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Cool Application for the Arduino
mrdon   5/22/2012 4:59:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Matt,

Just for your reference, I have an Arduino book scheduled for a mid June publication date you might be interested in. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1430242663/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_g14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0067HQG8WSB96QY7H6C5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool Application for the Arduino
gsmith120   5/24/2012 5:08:26 AM
NO RATINGS
Getting in on Matt's reference (lol), I will have to check out your Arduino book.  It may be something I can use for my class.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
"radio touch sensors"
William K.   5/23/2012 8:22:27 AM
NO RATINGS
Now the next thing that it needs is a way to announce the control function before the control is activated. That would be useful in that it would be able to avoid pushing the wrong button, not just telling someone what they did. Not needed so much on a phone, but certainly valuable on a crane, or driving a car, both places where a wrong command can be very inconvenient. Of course, most cranes don't use touch controls simply because they are both non-determinant and too subject to erronious actuation. In addition, a crane operator does have the time to make sure they have the correct control in hand. 

MattO
User Rank
Iron
Re: "radio touch sensors"
MattO   5/23/2012 5:59:23 PM
NO RATINGS
This is exactly what the device does already. The touch sensors activate before the control is pushed, allowing the user to select the correct control before operating it. I make this clear at the start of the video.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: "radio touch sensors"
William K.   5/24/2012 5:09:22 PM
NO RATINGS
I would have seen that in the video, except that for whatever reason I could not get the video to play. Sorry about that.

Announcing the button before it is pressed is indeed a very good invention. That should be a benefit to a large segment of uor populace. You have a game changing winner in hand now.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: "radio touch sensors"
Rob Spiegel   5/25/2012 1:15:20 PM
NO RATINGS
William K -- as for getting the video to work, I've often found that switching to a different browser can make all the difference. Seems like a lame solution, but it works on a lot of instances.

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Arduino does it all
gsmith120   5/24/2012 5:17:44 AM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for sharing your invention. As it was stated this can be used in so many other applications.  I could see it being used in learning toys for children.  Ardunio seems to be the duck tape of electronics. Lol.  My class uses them for various types of labs, they are great.

 

MattO
User Rank
Iron
Re: Arduino does it all
MattO   5/24/2012 6:07:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Coupling sound tags to touch sensors is nothing new - what I aimed to do here was present an implementation using easily available off the shelf boards and an Android phone. Prior to this I have had to spin my own boards to produce multi-channel touch sensors.

Ross Tsukashima and Ha Le Cao wrote an article for the June 2006 edition of Circuit Cellar which coupled toys to touch sensors and a speech board to help teach children language.

My Arduino and Android code can be downloaded from here:

http://sites.google.com/site/hardwaremonkey/home/arduinotouch

Please note, my background is hardware, not software!

MattO
User Rank
Iron
Re: Arduino does it all
MattO   5/25/2012 4:25:47 AM
NO RATINGS
Erratum:

I stated in the video that the XKitz boards use the mTouch technology for their touch sensing. This isn't the case. Custom firmware written by XKitz is used instead.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Videos not playing
William K.   5/26/2012 5:34:16 PM
NO RATINGS
I have indeed found that using eplorer will allow me to play some of those videos, but after the last explorer upgrade it does not work any more. I have not looked into just why because mostly Chrome is OK  for what I do.

Partner Zone
More Blogs from Gadget Freak
Eric Chesak created a sensor that can detect clouds, and it can also measure different sources of radiation.
This Gadget Freak Review looks at an affordable plug-and-play printer, a 3D printer that was hacked by a group of French design students to create real tattoos, and an analog camera that was built using 3D-printed and laser-cut parts.
What youíll find in this Technology Roundup is the best of the best Gadget Freak projects, as voted on by you -- our loyal readers.
We look at a wearable device that uses an adhesive electrode and headband to help reduce migraines, as well as a plug-and-play outlet cover that replaces traditional night lights.
Al Linke's animated weather display uses a Rasberry Pi to periodically pull weather conditions from the Internet and then displays a corresponding animation on an LED display.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service