Theremin takes the touch out of multitouch

Multitouch builds are all the rage now, so it’s not surprising someone would come up with a multi-touchless interface sooner or later. [Hanspeter] did just that; his Multi-touchless ribbon controller, a.k.a. Polymagnetophonic Theremin is multi-touch without the touch.

[Hanspeter]’s touchless ribbon controller uses an array of 24 Hall effect sensors that activate whenever a magnet mounted on a thimble is placed near a build. These sensors go to an ARM-equipped Maple Mini¬†to record multitouch events and send them out over Ethernet.

Even though [Hanspeter] is only using his “multi-touchless ribbon sensor” as a theremin, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be put to other uses. It’s entirely possible to place several of these magnetic sensors in an array and build a real Minority Report interface where the user interacts with a computer without touching anything.

After the break is a video demo showing off how much control [Hanspeter] can get with the thimble/magnet setup. There’s also a few demo songs made with SuperCollider¬†showing off a trio of sitar/Moog/harpsichord synths.

11 thoughts on “Theremin takes the touch out of multitouch

  1. The interface in Minority Report is not fictional. It in fact is real. Used the movie to debut the technology. As for clear screens, look up HOLO Projection(similar tech to the tupac a while back). Since it was so out there and was in a movie people thought it was fiction. Well it is not and here is the place

  2. Freespace control interfaces will be successful in CAD and similar applications.

    Minority report style control interfaces will not, apart from sucking budget dollars into the “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time” zone.

    To clarify: Free space gesture tracking is here to stay.

    But if your application has a minority report style control interface, you just haven’t put enough thought into it. Remember the giant nuke plant/space command looking displays of the 1970’s? Pretty, but useless.

    Yeah, it’s like that.

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