Bananaphone lets you use fruit and other things as switches

We’re used to [Sprite_TM] rolling out his own hacks hot on the heels of new concepts. Now we’re glad to see that [Jeff Ledger] is doing the same thing here. He was inspired by a Kickstarter project which vows to let you use fruit, clay, and a number of other common (but weird for this use) substances to interface with electronic projects. The mess you see above is the Bananaphone, a synthesizer played with touch sensitive bananas. Think of them as keys on a piano.

The interface works by measuring R/C decay. Each banana is connected to its own input pin on the Propeller board. The capacitance of the bananas rise when you touch them, and this results in a longer R/C decay measurement. Calibrate the target decay period, and you’ve got a reliable capacitive touch sensor which also happens to be delicious. Check out the results which [Jeff] achieves in the video after the break.


  1. Nvoid82 says:

    Ring,Ring,Ring,Ring,Ring,Ring,Ring, Bannanaphone!

    Really cool project.

  2. Paul says:

    hmm, wonder if this was inspired by the makey makey on kickstarter much?

  3. Joe says:
  4. ashirviskas says:

    Could this be made with arduino ?

  5. dTA says:

    Now play banana phone on it.

  6. Jeff says:

    Touch the banana.
    What? No.
    Do it.
    Touch the banana.
    I’m NOT touching THE BANANA.
    Come on just touch it.
    [walks away]

  7. Drone says:

    Man, you can drag money out of Kickstarter for almost anything it seems.

  8. thereeducationof says:

    So what is the equivalent circuit of a banana?

  9. edonovan says:

    I’m sure there’s a use for this… I just don’t know what it could be.

  10. mike says:

    What symbol do I use for a banana when drawing a circuit diagram?

  11. Gdogg says:

    Oh, I saw this at maker faire yesterday!

  12. manpat says:

    i want to replace all the light switches in my house with bananas

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