“Actuate your screen” project


This project is shortly described in the presentation below :


  • Research about patents have not given any results yet.

Sensesurface by Lyndsay Williams

His project is very close. She’s got also the same inspiration ( studer console ).

One proposed technical solution is based on Hall effect sensors :

  • simple to put in place inside button itself : one magnet is sufficient
  • however one sensor per command button is mandatory behind the screen
  • Hall effect sensors are mainly used in industrial domain and are expensive( one exemple of component : AS5013 )
  • this is a proved technical solution

Another proposed solution is based on Bluetooth :

  • use of standard technology
  • one battery is mandatory inside the button. Lifetime ?
  • Focus seemst to be on high precision rotactor, to be as close as possible to the way of working of an analog potentiometer. Mechanical complexity of button ? This is something I wouldn’t focus myself but more on digital encoders way of use.
  • This project seems not to be closed but ongoing

Surprisingly, instead of Miss Williams is specialist of patents, I have not found any regarding this idea ? is there already one patent ?

She had also different contacts to sell this idea, but it seems those have not reached to a deal. No market for it ?


Different technologies can be used :

  • camera with wide viewing angle ( tablet) and gray code on buttons
  • Bluetooth
  • other wireless technologies
  • RFID technology ( no battery, a single antenna )
  • use of tactile panel to detect position of buttons

Use of tactile panel

Given the results I obtained, also éditions volumique, it is possible to detect position of a button using tactile informations. However this way of working is not sufficiently reliable for professional use.

Video of prototype to be added

However we could imagine to have much better results if firmware of tactile controller is modified accordingly, and an optimization of the button is done. It could be sufficient for all day use, and without battery nor electronics. Does a company like Atmel does work already on such developments ?

We  keep then tactile problems : difficulties to use with glovers, system blocked if some liquid is on the surface, reliability of tactile surface itself

RFID use

This sounds to be the better solution regarding fonctionnalities : no battery, a single antenna that can be printed, reliability.

Two problems can appear : the use of RFID for other task than tag reading is still in development. For instance there are very few RFID sensors (T°, …) on the market. Bit rate is small also, that could lead to unacceptable latency

Exemple of one RFID component that could be used : RF430FRL15xH

RF other RF technology

With new wireless low power technologies ( Bluetooth 4.0, I/F 2.4 GHz for computer mouse, … ), we can imagine a button working with a CR2032 battery which last 1 or 2 years, but to be confirmed. My opinion is that this lifetime is still insufficient for an industrial use.
I have done quickly a prototype using 2.4GHz protocole that, after optimization, could be used to evaluate this battery lifetime.

Video of prototype to be added rajouter

Vincent Recipon

Propriétaire de ce blog. Owner of this blog.

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