Techniques in Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing: An Open Source Approach

Honigman, Colin and Hochenbaum, Jordan and Kapur, Ajay

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper introduces a new technique for creating Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing with open source technology for use in creating richer and more complex musical gestures. This new style of capacitive touch sensing is extremely robust compared to older versions and will allow greater implementation of gesture recognition and touch control in the development of NIMEs. Inspired by the Touché project, this paper discusses how to implement this technique using the community standard hardware Arduino instead of custom designed electronics. The technique requires only passive components and can be used to enhance the touch sensitivity of many everyday objects and even biological materials and substances such as plants, which this paper will focus on as a case study through the project known as Cultivating Frequencies. This paper will discuss different techniques of filtering data captured by this system, different methods for creating gesture recognition unique to the object being used, and the implications of this technology as it pertains to the goal of ubiquitous sensing. Furthermore, this paper will introduce a new Arduino Library, SweepingCapSense, which simplifies the coding required to implement this technique.