Distance detecting pc


Reader [Joshua] sent in his latest project. using a sonar rangefinder, an Arduino, and some clever programming, he’s made is computer react to his distance from it. As you can see in the video after the jump, he has programmed it to change text size and background color depending on his distance from the screen. While he admits that his implementation doesn’t seem immediately useful, there’s lots of potentialĀ  there. We can actually think of several uses. What would you use it for?

55 thoughts on “Distance detecting pc

  1. Yet another [beneficial] side effect: chase away your cat who likes to warm oneself on the laptop keyboard. They might not like ultrasound… but, of course, that depends on actual transmitted power. Did someone test that? I haven’t a rangefinder handy. (There are of course software solutions for cats but I won’t bother unless my fluffy manages to do something nasty.)

  2. The ultrasonic theremin posted above is super impressive!

    Another technique for sensing distance from a computer is to use the frame of the computer as an electrode for capacitive sensing. If it isn’t plugged into the wall, it becomes its own ground. You need some sort of microcontroller to measure capacitance, but it doesn’t take any extra components. Here I just swapped back and forth between “ICH SEHE DICH” (I see you) and black + playing random locations in memory out to the audio:

  3. I can see this being useful for those with vision problems. All they would need to do is lean in and and the text adjusts dynamically to suit their eyes’ focal point. One would need an initial calibration, but that can be easily set. Further implementation could be based on a per-user basis with settings for each user.

    I can see the reverse being set too for large HDTVs. The closer you lean in, the resolution increases and text size decreases.

    This would be a handy function for applications like Photoshop – lean in and you increase magnification of the image.

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