Touchpad + Arduino

[Jani] directed us to his tutorial on making a laptop touchpad work with an Arduino. After seeing the recent post on touch pad and VFD hacking, he couldn’t resist finding one of these to play with. He shows us how to connect it all up and offers two methods of using the data from it. The first method is to determine the direction of finger travel and the second, shown above, is to use it more like the volume control on an iPod. Source code for both is available on his site.


  1. Jeremy says:

    This is just awesome! Finally a use for all those old broken laptops I’ve been keeping.

    Now if someone can come up with a hack that will give me more then 24 hours in a day, I’ll be set.

  2. dan says:


  3. Arduinofreak says:

    Phew, an arduino.

  4. Agent420 says:

    Nice job. as you see, because the touchpad responds like any std mouse it is fairly easy to use.

    It’s been a while since I worked on this last (refer to my tp + vfd post), but I seem to recall that I chose not to use the availble ps2 functions on my avr because they only provided reading data, and not the ability to write the command to the touchpad to change the mode from relative to absolute, which I desired so I could delegate certain areas of the pad as button type input.

    Are you using absolute or relative mode here?

  5. Hiroe says:


    someone did

  6. McSquid says:

    @Hiroe: win.

    Up next on hack-a-day:
    cell phone + arduino
    paper clip + arduino
    and what you have all been waiting for:
    small puppy + arduino

  7. David says:

    I’m sure this could be used for small puppies also:

  8. alex says:

    I wonder how hard it would be to interface a multi-touch trackpad to the arduino, similar to the ones on the EEEPC or newer Macbooks.

  9. Bill Hates says:

    stupid. useless. crap.

  10. Dennis says:

    What about controlling audio effects with this?

  11. GCL says:

    Neat! I’ll take a dozen over easy.

  12. Gecko says:

    If anybody else want’s to experiment with those devices: At you can order them for 0.75 Euro. That is a very much better price than on ebay. But I don’t know if they ship overseas.

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