Playing Jedi Mind-Tricks On Your TV

Gesture-enabled controls mean you get to live out your fantasy of wielding force powers. It does, however, take a bit of hacking to make that possible. Directly from the team at [circuito.io] comes a hand gesture controller for Jedi mind-trick manipulation of your devices!

The star of the show here is the APDS-9960 RGB and gesture sensor, with an Arduino Pro Mini 328 doing the thinking and an IR transmitter LED putting that to good use. The Arduino Sketch is a chimera of two code examples for IR LEDs and the gesture sensor — courtesy of the always estimable Ken Shirriff, and SparkFun respectively.

Of course, you can have the output trigger different devices, but since this particular build is meant to control a TV the team had to use a separate Arduino and IR receiver to discover the codes for the commands they wanted  to use. Once they were added to the Sketch, moving your hand above the sensor in X, Y or Z-axes executes the command. Voila! — Jedi powers.

Power issues meant the team needed to implement a ‘deep sleep’ mode that sees the Arduino dosing until a gesture is detected, preserving the 3.7V LiPo 1000mAh battery life. A cool optional add-on they threw in is a tilt switch which also puts the Arduino in sleep mode when the box is in any orientation but up!

How often is it that you can hack your way to having sci-fi powers? More often than you might think.

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