Raise your hand if you want to listen to something else

This track is awful, someone skip it! This project does just that with a wave of your hand. A laser beam shines across a room and, when obstructed, it sends a command to an iPod. One wave pauses playback, two waves skips to the next track, and a constant obstruction jumps backward one track.

They’re using a textile-compatible electronics platform called Schemer. This is the first time we’ve run across this product which uses a modular system to connect devices via a 1-wire communications bus.

No matter what hardware you use the concept is what interests us. There’s no shortage of iPod remote projects to draw on as examples. This method seems a bit more fun than banging your head for track changes or slapping wildly at an over-sized remote. We’re just a bit concerned about the power consumption of the laser-pointer, perhaps an IR beam would be a more economical choice?


  1. Mr_Bishop says:

    Well this is interesting and all but it gives me a better idea. Voice command remote; Im thinking use a single clap to get it to start receiving voice command input. Some commands like ” Play”, Shuffle”, ” Pause”, and ” “Release the droids.” Man i really need to take up Microcontrollers.

  2. keastes says:

    yet another ‘ibile,gre- ohh shiny


  3. keastes says:

    rofl i love when that happens

  4. deathventure says:

    All good until somebody that’s a little taller turns their head and loses an eye. lol

  5. nave.notnilc says:

    If the song is loud/noisy, it’d probably make picking out a valid voice kinda hard, heck, if the track itself included any of the words, you’d have problems :P

  6. jim says:

    nah, you just use the actual audio feed to cancel the microphone.


  7. Mr_Bishop says:

    @ nave.notnilc
    I was realized that about 3 seconds after i posted.

    Brillent!, lol and this is why I bounce my ideas off the interwebs.

  8. fartface says:

    and this is better than using the IR remote how?

    hey grab the remote and change the song, no wait stand up and wave your arms!

    what’s next? a ipod interface that requires you to calculate prime numbers for track changes?

    Hey! I hate this song! type in the first 3 prime numbers after 1500 to skip the next track.

  9. googfan says:

    Needs a green laser

  10. keastes says:

    why green why not blue, yellow, or even, hell, violet

  11. shadowruni says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t see the Hitchhikers’ guide to the galaxy reference here? (the book not that coathanger abortion of a movie)

  12. RoboGuy says:


    They’d need a few more lasers for that.

    Also, did you read “And Another Thing…” ? It’s not by Adams, but it provides a bit happier ending than “everybody dies.”

  13. walt says:

    instructables BOOOO!!!!!

  14. Michiel says:

    To simple….

    oh.., and I bet they use a Arduino. :)

  15. Pete says:

    Power consumption of a laser pointer is probably much smaller than that of the audio system; they have a 5mw output.

    Lasers in other colors seem to be commonly associated with higher power, which makes them not eye-safe. I’m not sure if the higher power is required but it’s clearly a risk.

  16. ajay says:

    it’s a good idea… project perhaps… i liked t a lot… i ll try to make it in my home… i dont have ani pod … i will try doing it in my nokai 5800 mobile… e-mail at ajay.gu@yahoo.com

  17. Doom says:

    Wouldn’t having this at any convenient height make you accidentally pause/change the song all the time?

  18. shadowruni says:


    I haven’t read it but that does sound better than Random managing to get everyone killed.


    That was the reference…

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