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3D gesture HAT uses Microchip E-field technology

Jul 3, 2019 — by Eric Brown 574 views

Seeed has released a $12.90 “3D Gesture & Tracking Shield” for the Raspberry Pi that uses Microchip’s electrical near-field sensing technology for touchpad input and 3D gesture tracking at up to 10 cm.

Seeed has launched a 3D gesture and tracking add-on board for the Raspberry Pi based on Microchip’s MGC3130 controller and GestIC Colibri Suite firmware. The technology uses electrical near-field sensing to determine near-field location and movement. Applications include home automation, game and A/V control, and alternative laptop input.

3D Gesture & Tracking Shield showing sensor area (left) and flipside with kit contents
(click images to enlarge)

The $12.90 3D Gesture & Tracking Shield can capture x y z position information and perform proximity sensing and touch sensing with support for tap and double click. The board’s touchpad sensing area has four orientation strips to “sense touch, tap, double click, and gestures in the air above” at up to 10 cm, says Seeed.

The MGC3130 controller enables the shield to generate a magnetic field above the central panel. When your hand approaches, it interferes with the magnetic field, enabling the magnetic field receiver below the shield to detect the change.

E-field sensing generated by Microchip MGC3130 and GestIC Colibri Suite
(click images to enlarge)

Microchip bills the MGC3130 as the world’s first electrical-field (E-field) based three-dimensional tracking and gesture controller. The GestIC Colibri Suite processes gesture inputs on the controller with high immunity to noise, high update rates, low latency, and up to 150-DPI resolution, says Microchip.

3D Gesture & Tracking Shield detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The 3D Gesture & Tracking Shield, which we saw on NotebookCheck, is also referred to by Seeed as a HAT. The board communicates with Pi models including the Raspberry Pi 2, 3, and Zero via I2C. The 65 x 56mm board has a 40-pin GPIO header, a 3.3V input and ground, and a Grove I2C connector “in case you need to work with other modules,” says Seeed.


Further information

The 3D Gesture & Tracking Shield is available for $12.90 worldwide at this Seeed shopping page. Volume discounts are available. Seeed has also posted a wiki with sample code and a YouTube video.

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