Arduino hackers rejoice: you can now add touch sensitivity and gesture controls to your tiny electronics projects, something that could add some very compelling user experience tweaks to existing projects. Called Hover, the $39 board is basically a capacitive touch sensitive PCB with a small controller built in.
Interestingly, you can also wave your hand over the sensor to actuate it, allowing for all sorts of fun with Kinect-like motion interaction. Since it connects to Arduino you don’t need much processing power to handle the interaction and, more importantly, the system is compact and easily embeddable into different projects.
Built by Emran Mahbub and Jonathan Li, the product is shipping in the next few weeks and looks to be ready to use out of the box. It uses a 3 volt power supply and can fit on a standard breadboard for prototyping. While it might be hard to figure out a use for this right now, I could imagine a musical toy using gestures or a robot controller with touch sensitive surfaces. It’s a nice piece of solid, cool technology.