So often, we use control devices for electronics that involve our fingers directly grasping, touching, or moving another object or surface. It’s less common for us to use interfaces that detect the motion of our bodies directly. Flex sensors are one way to do that, and it’s exactly what [WillpowerStudios] aims to do with Finger Bend.
The construction of the sensor is simple, using piezoresistive fabric which changes its resistance when deformed. By sewing this into a sheath that can be placed on the finger, and wiring it up with conductive threads, it can be used to detect the flexion of the wearer’s digits by sampling the resistance with an analog to digital converter on any garden variety microcontroller. Expanding the technique to a full hand is as simple as creating a Finger Bend per digit and wiring up each one to its own ADC channel. If you want to get really fancy, you could even scan through them at speed with a multiplexer.
It’s similar to the technology used in Nintendo’s infamous Power Glove, and while it’s never caught on in the mainstream, it may have applications yet. Video after the break