Capacitive touch business card

[Jay Kickliter] sent in his latest electronic business card. This time, his goal was to make it much cheaper so he could actually afford to give it away. He did pretty well considering the two week timeline he mentions. This card is using an MSP430 with the capsense library to light up some LEDs any time the card is handled. While he states that it is much cheaper than his last, it is still around $8 a card, so he won’t be tossing these into everyone’s hands.  He does point out though that it is always helpful to have hardware to show off at a hardware interview, and an electronic business card does that job very well.

As usual, you can read more details and download the files at his blog.

Comments

  1. Steve says:

    Beautifully done! Simple is better, We simply CNC most of our business cards with no LEDs, people love them and save them.

    Thanks for posting the info as well!

    • baggers says:

      Steve, any links to examples of your cards? I am looking to do the same and am looking for inspiration…

      • Steve says:

        http://www.northstreetlabs.org/CNCbusiness.html

        This is a tiny write up with CamBam files if you would like to play with them. CamBam is a free for 40 trials (:so leave it open as long as you can) Cam software that’ll convert solidworks/autocad/inventor files into the proper Gcode for your machine and cutting bit selection. We never published the Gcode because every machine is different and it would likely be useless.

        I don’t personally like CamBam but we started using it because they were one of the few who offered a trial. CamBam will frustrate a CAD specialists if you try to do the CAD work within CamBams GUI.

        If you’ve any questions, just email me.

  2. Colin says:

    Still too expensive. There’s gotta be cheaper alternatives to a chip with a cap library for simply lighting an LED.

  3. Victor says:

    Atmels QTouch series of ICs are purpose built for this and don’t require programming!

    http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/ATEVK1010A/ATEVK1010A-ND/2268870

  4. vonskippy says:

    Nice work – in a retro sort of way.

    In the era of smartphones, emails, and social media people still bother with business cards?

    I can’t remember the last time I carried one. And I never waste time taking one – either email me the info or at the very worse, let me snap a pic of your biz card. Who wants to carry around a bunch of paper (or worse, pcb) cards.

    Our lab only accepts machine scan-able cards from vendors and potential employees. (of course we pay someone to enter the info if one of our potential clients is still living in 1999 and has some gawd awful graphic based card).

    Like the tri-fold brochure, biz cards have outlived their usefulness.

  5. TheMuffinDan says:

    I’m seeing more and more PCBs with built-in capacitive tough sensors. I did a quick google, and they don’t look too complicated (first result for “pcb capacitive touch” goes to a TI document which makes them look fairly straightforward). Based on that document and an adafruit blog post (link below) it seems as though you can add them into your PCB layout and have the PCB manufacturer make them (since they are just copper and soldermask). Is this the case?

    http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2011/05/23/capacitive-touch-pcb-keypad/

    • jaykickliter says:

      I followed the TI appnote for this card. There’s circular ‘button’ in the lower right-hand corner. There’s also a ground plain on the top and bottom. Underneath the button the bottom ground plain is hatched. That reduces the capacitive coupling of the button, while still protecting it from false positives.

  6. mac gyver says:

    when you done using pcb, start using LCD

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