Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

UC Berkeley

Midas: Fabricating Custom Capacitive Touch Sensors to Prototype Interactive Objects

Valkyrie Savage, Xiaohan Zhang and Björn Hartmann

EECS Department
University of California, Berkeley
Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2012-43
April 18, 2012

http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2012/EECS-2012-43.pdf

An increasing number of consumer products include user in- terfaces that rely on touch input. While digital fabrication techniques such as 3D printing make it easier to prototype the shape of custom devices, adding interactivity to such pro- totypes remains a challenge for most designers. We intro- duce Midas, a software and hardware toolkit to support the design, fabrication, and programming of flexible capacitive touch sensors for interactive objects. With Midas, designers first define the desired shape, layout, and type of touch sen- sitive areas in a sensor editor interface. From this high-level specification, Midas automatically generates layout files with appropriate sensor pads and routed connections. These files are then used to fabricate sensors using digital fabrication processes, e.g. vinyl cutters and circuit board printers. Us- ing step-by-step assembly instructions generated by Midas, designers connect these sensors to our microcontroller setup, which detects touch events. Once the prototype is assembled, designers can define interactivity for their sensors: Midas supports both record-and-replay actions for controlling ex- isting local applications and WebSocket-based event output for controlling novel or remote applications. In a first-use study with three participants, users successfully prototyped media players. We also demonstrate how Midas can be used to create a number of touch-sensitive interfaces.


BibTeX citation:

@techreport{Savage:EECS-2012-43,
    Author = {Savage, Valkyrie and Zhang, Xiaohan and Hartmann, Björn},
    Title = {Midas: Fabricating Custom Capacitive Touch Sensors to Prototype Interactive Objects},
    Institution = {EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley},
    Year = {2012},
    Month = {Apr},
    URL = {http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2012/EECS-2012-43.html},
    Number = {UCB/EECS-2012-43},
    Abstract = {An increasing number of consumer products include user in- terfaces that rely on touch input. While digital fabrication techniques such as 3D printing make it easier to prototype the shape of custom devices, adding interactivity to such pro- totypes remains a challenge for most designers. We intro- duce Midas, a software and hardware toolkit to support the design, fabrication, and programming of flexible capacitive touch sensors for interactive objects. With Midas, designers first define the desired shape, layout, and type of touch sen- sitive areas in a sensor editor interface. From this high-level specification, Midas automatically generates layout files with appropriate sensor pads and routed connections. These files are then used to fabricate sensors using digital fabrication processes, e.g. vinyl cutters and circuit board printers. Us- ing step-by-step assembly instructions generated by Midas, designers connect these sensors to our microcontroller setup, which detects touch events. Once the prototype is assembled, designers can define interactivity for their sensors: Midas supports both record-and-replay actions for controlling ex- isting local applications and WebSocket-based event output for controlling novel or remote applications. In a first-use study with three participants, users successfully prototyped media players. We also demonstrate how Midas can be used to create a number of touch-sensitive interfaces.}
}

EndNote citation:

%0 Report
%A Savage, Valkyrie
%A Zhang, Xiaohan
%A Hartmann, Björn
%T Midas: Fabricating Custom Capacitive Touch Sensors to Prototype Interactive Objects
%I EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley
%D 2012
%8 April 18
%@ UCB/EECS-2012-43
%U http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2012/EECS-2012-43.html
%F Savage:EECS-2012-43