How to make touch interfaces out of conductive glass?
February 4, 2005 5:48 PM   Subscribe

I want to learn to make touch interfaces out of conductive glass. Something like this. Where should I start?

My practical skills with physics/electronics are low, but they exist -- I completed the first year of an Electrical Engineering program 14 years ago, I've just forgotten nearly all of it.

What I'd hope hope hope for is some kind of sensor system I could just hook up to the sides of a piece of conductive glass and it would give information about points (multiple points probably being important) where the glass was touched (and then send electronic signals to other things). Anything like this exist?

Failing that... just some pointers towards resources that can get me going.
posted by weston to Technology (3 answers total)
strangely enough, I just looked into doing this a while ago.

I started at qprox. Their products work through normal glass, so no extra cost there. It wasn't too hard to make a simple sensor out of the parts, which I ordered through digikey.

I ended up getting some random parts and this demo evaluation board. which ran me under $100. Others are quite a bit cheaper.

I put the project down for a while, maybe I'll pick it back up now...
posted by true at 6:14 PM on February 4, 2005

I don't think there's such a thing as "conductive glass". These things work by projecting an electric field through the glass and measuring the disturbances. That's where my knowledge ends though. Here's a fancy example.
posted by cillit bang at 7:22 PM on February 4, 2005

I'm pretty sure electrically conductive glass does in fact exist, but there may be techniques that don't rely on conductive properties -- I think I recall reading about an acoustic method, for example, that sends physical vibrations through a panel and interpolates touched locations from changes at endpoint vibrations, and maybe various films put over the top. I'm open to any pointers.
posted by weston at 10:19 PM on February 4, 2005

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