OptoSensor is an open source prototyping platform based on the principal of discrete distributed sensor arrays to create an low resolution image sensor to be utilised for multi-touch purposes. The project was developed as part of my university thesis, it was designed to be a low cost thin form-factor methodology to implement optical sensing in conjunction with a regular an off the shelf liquid crystal displays. OptoSensor technology is based of both Microsoft’s Thin Sight Technology and Inspire AG/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich FLATIR technology.
This project was implemented using a combination of existing sensing technologies to create sensor that is more robust and open than those available currently in the market. By using a relatively large array of IR sensors totaling of 128 sensors on a prototype board behind a traditional LCD panel and an IR light source in front of the panel, we are able to augment the display with the ability to sense a variety of objects near or on the surface; including finger tips and hands, and thus permitting us to enable multi-touch interaction. By creating a low cost high fidelity image sensor we are able to take advantage of optical sensing which also allows other physical items to be detected, and thus permitting interactions using various multi-modal interaction schemas.
The current prototype module design consists of 7″, 16:9 ratio, 128 sensor, board which is controlled via a dedicated microcontroller unit (MCU); the design is implemented in such a way that if needed multiple modules can be connected together (with appropriate modifications to both the firmware and hardware). The current hardware was designed to be flexible and easy to use as such the MCU chosen was based on the Arduino platform. The module utilises an Arduino Mega development board which is based on ATmega1280 MCU, as such the firmware can be easily modified by anyone using the free Arduino IDE.
The boards can be built by hand or be purchased as kits (Future), the firmware is open and can be downloaded for free. The reference designs CAD files are available under an open source license you are free to adapt them to your needs.
To get started, follow the instructions for your operating system: Windows, Mac OS X or Linux; If you’re having trouble, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Information about the OptoSensor hardware, including reference designs.
Examples software of how to work with OptoSensor.
Reference functions for the MCU firmware.