Imagine if chefs couldn't taste, artists couldn't see, and musicians couldn't hear. Us humans can't perceive electric current, so engineers and electricians can never physically feel their work.
Watch the video for the full story, demo, and design process!
Feel electric currents (and see them too!)
I sought out the perfect magnetic sensor, capable of safely and accurately measuring both AC and DC without having to cut any wires or clamp on any bulky magnetics. I discovered the fluxgatemagnetometer, an ultra-sensitive magnetometer capable of picking up the minute magnetic field formed around a wire carrying just a few hundred milliamps.
Is that a fluxgate magnetometer or are you just happy to see me?
To make it wearable, I hooked it up to an Adafruit Feather, connected a battery, and added a flashy matrix display. I glued the processor pack to a low-profile weightlifter's glove, and mounted the sensor in a flexible finger ring.
Taste the rainbow. Feel the current. What even IS reality any more?
The Neosensory Buzz completes the ensemble, giving the wearer fine-grained tactile feedback of magnetic fields and the currents that created them.
Just put on the glove, power up the Buzz, allow the device to self-calibrate, and bring your finger near flowing current. You'll be able to sense the current pulsing and flowing as you approach.
Can you feel it now, Mr. Krabs?
It's currently just a neat toy, but the sensor is fast enough to pick up 9600-baud UART traffic, 10KHz PWM signals, and even amplified audio. With some improved programming, your hand itself could become your signal analyzer.