Finger Bend Is an E-Textile Flex Sensor

Finger sleeve presents a convenient way to interface with electronics.

Jeremy Cook
7 months ago

While the keyboard and mouse computer interface paradigm has served us well for many years, one might wonder if at some point in the future we could forgo these elements and instead use natural gestures for control. One might consider video tracking or other processing intensive methods for such a pursuit, but Willpower Studios shows off another such technique using a physical finger bend sensor sleeve in the video below.

The sleeve is constructed with a piece of piezo-resistive stretch fabric that changes its electrical resistance when stretched, along with supporting non-conductive materials. This is connected to an Arduino Nano's analog input, which is able to turn an LED on and off based on the operator opening and closing his index finger.

Although a bend sensor isn’t an entirely new concept, the e-textile sleeve is quite well finished, and could form the basis for a larger interface methodology. In fact, one idea for such an interface would be to use it in musical performance, where one could trigger lighting or other implements based on motion, without having a separate controller in the immediate vicinity. The project write-up presents code for the build, and lays things out in more detail if you’d like to construct one – or several – yourself!

Jeremy Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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