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Advice on hand motion sensing

Advice on hand motion sensing

(OP)
Hi,
Any advice would be very appreciated.
(or even tell me which forum this should be posted in)

I am designing a couple of pieces of furniture that will incorporate some kind of sensors.
A wall mounted storage unit that opens automatically when a hand gets near. And a standing light that also senses a hand close to it.

After some research and experimenting I am looking at electromagnet sensors.
I did look into IR sensors but they wont quite do for these projects. The sensor has to be hidden and they also have to be more than just an on/off sensor.
The storage unit has to be able to sense that the hand is still there so it doesnt close on the user. And the light has to be dimmable so the sensor has to be able to sense the hand moving up and down in about a 30cm range.

Any wise words?

RE: Advice on hand motion sensing

Tall order.

Ultrasonic can do this but also "light curtain" methods should be considered.

The Kinect could do all this nicely except for your 'hidden' requirement. Perhaps rolling your own with hidden cameras?

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Advice on hand motion sensing

Use the same principles as used in a theremin.

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