Augmented Reality Using Pez Dispensers

[Johan] really got himself out of a bind with this one.

After his son started playing AppMates, he desperately wanted the requisite figures to complete the experience. AppMates is an iPad game where a child drives a small plastic car around a virtual environment displayed on the touchscreen. Unfortunately for [Johan]’s son, the officially licensed Cars characters would take at least three months to make it to his home in Sweden. [Johan] did the next best thing and made his own.

[Johan] took a pair of Cars Pez dispensers and took off the figure. The bottom of the character was covered with a bit of plastic from the base of the Pez dispenser and a little bit of conductive foam and was added to the body. Now [Johan]’s son can drive his toys around Radiator Springs just like he could with the official figurines. There’s also the aspect of not making a child wait months for a bit of plastic, so we’ll call this one a win for [Johan].


4 thoughts on “Augmented Reality Using Pez Dispensers

  1. Mmmm I gotta admit that I was hoping for something a little more. I guess the post is useful for anyone who didn’t know that conductive foam (like what you often find with free chip samples) can be used on touch screens. Otherwise it’s a bit of a fail post.

  2. Definitely a hack. A quick and dirty way to get the desired result. I recently saw these Cars toys in the electronics section at Wal-Mart and wondered how they were able to interface with the screen.

    A simple write up for a simple concept, and his kid is happy. I’ll take this into account when messing around with capacitive touchscreens.

  3. Yeah, it is no rocket science, but I wasn’t sure when I started if I could lead the charge from screen to ESD-foam to ESD film to body. Unfortunately I needed to add some conductive adhesive, tried to melt the foam and film together, but no luck. If I do a second version I think I will fold the ESD film in 3d to make the connection with the screen (if it doesn’t scratch the display). Then there is no need for the wire glue.
    By the way, is there anyone that knows if there is a smart (passive) way to avoid the need for physical connection to the body (for PCT – mutual capacitance)?

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