The Experimenting with Gesture Sensors Design Challenge, sponsored by Analog Devices (Maxim Integrated), and featuring the MAX25405 Optical IR Sensor Evaluation Kit has officially concluded. We had 8 participants, including the Grand and Runner-up prize winners. Our judges have read each blog and tallied up the final scores. element14 is ready to announce the winners. In this blog, I'll review the program (for newcomers) and announce the winners with a summary and links to their work.
Let's Talk About Gesture Sensing
For many years, computers have been controlled by “touched” devices such as mice, keyboards, and touchscreen displays. But today there is a growing trend for using touch-free gesture control. A good example of touch-free gesture control is in the automotive cockpit, where gesture recognition technology can enable the control of infotainment systems, thereby ensuring safety by allowing the driver to keep his eyes on the road. While gesture control seems like something out of the distant future (i.e., Star Trek), it is now being successfully integrated into smart appliances, touch-free smart home hubs and thermostats, gaming controllers, virtual reality systems, and more.
What is the Experimenting with Gesture Sensors Design Challenge?
element14's Experimenting with Gesture Sensors is a hands-on competition for electronic engineers. The participants had the opportunity to receive a gesture sensor development kit from our sponsor FREE of charge. They were challenged to experiment, test, or build a gesture sensor project. Their blogs would be judged for technical merit and creativity. The top two participants would receive some great prizes. The other challengers who completed writing two blogs will receive the complimentary finisher's prize.
Who are the Winners of the Experimenting with Gesture Sensors Design Challenge?
Our eight participants conducted experiments and produced 35 technical blogs. Our judges have made their decisions, so let's meet the winners!
Grand Prize Winner of the Experimenting with Gesture Sensor Challenge
misaz has been a member of element14 since 2019. He is a frequent contributor of content, with 630 posts published thus far. He also is a frequent participant in element14's design challenges. As part of this challenge, he wanted to experiment with the MAX25405 sensor first and then move on to build two projects based on his experiences.
In addition to the add-on experiments he conducted with the MAX25405, he built two projects: a Gesture Controlled Tetris and a Gesture Controlled Pacman. The first project was an implementation of Tetris game controlled by gestures. Implemented as an online game, it runs directly in web browser, and can be played directly here.
His second project was a Gesture Controlled Pacman, which is more advanced and took much more time to implement. It is controlled by his own firmware. He also developed his own gesture detection algorithm. Instead of using web browser API, he used a physical embedded TFT LCD display and built a stand which converts this project to full featured (but simple) gaming console. misaz completed an incredible body of work and explored the use of gesture sensing in novel ways. On top of these achievements, he had the time to assist other participants in the program.
You can read all of his blogs here.
Runner Up Prize Winner of the Experimenting with Gesture Sensor Challenge: BigG
BigG has been a member of the element14 Community since 2011. He is a frequent participant in element14's Design Challenges, RoadTests, and Project14 competitions, with a focus on microcontroller and BLE development boards. He has over 14 years technical experience in the Internet of Things (IoT) from full stack development expertise (hardware + software: primarily open source) to systems engineering, integration, and deployment. He has substantial experience with MbedOS including the latest version 6.15.
His motivation for participating in this program was both professional and personal. He has an interest in developing proof of concept solutions and was curious to see how well this advanced gesture sensor platform works. As the MAX32620FTHR board is MbedOS compatible, he created a gesture mouse for hands-free control of a computer by utilising USB mouse and keyboard commands via MbedOS 6.15 USBMouseKeyboard / USBMouse API's. Personally, he wanted to use has engineering maker skills to come up with a solution that could potentially help his young daughter overcome her inability to use a computer mouse or a TV remote due to her lack of fine motor coordination skills.
Over the course of his experiments, he first confirmed that he could get the MAX32620FTHR to behave as a USB mouser using the MbedOS USBmouse API. Then he wanted to evaluate how well the gesture sensor reacted to his own gestures using the Windows only GUI demo software provided by Maxim Integrated. (This desktop PC software only works with the firmware that comes embedded on the MAX3260FTHR board. So all experiments shown are based on this embedded firmware.)
To undertake the above experiment, he set up some goals: (a) to determine whether the sensor would perform well in the 10cm to 20cm range, which is the distance he estimated as the most likely for hand gestures when sitting down in front of a computer; (b) to evaluate whether one's body would interfere with the results if she is sitting about 40cm away; and (c) to determine how easy it is to replicate different gestures and what methods work better than others versus which methods are problematic. He also experimented with using an Arduino UNO connected to MAX32620FTHR / MAX25405 Serial API via USB Host Shield.
You can read all of his blogs here.
I'd like to thank all the other element14 members who participated in this challenge:
Control the Ambient Elements in an Interactive Way
Cristi's project blogs
Gesture Control Music Player
asokfair's project blogs
Punch in Air
fyaocn's project blogs
Smart Brain Training using MAX25405 Evaluation Kit
rahulkhanna's project blogs
Gesture controlled FM Radio
rsjawale24's project blogs
Gesture Control for the Entertainment Industry
vishwasn's project blogs
The Last Word: A Big Thank You to Our Judges!