Big Hack (2012) winner - uses paper, foil, and capacitive sensing to remotely control computers
JavaScript Arduino Python
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#OrangeCube OrangeCube


OrangeCube is a gesture interface device to allow for the control of a computer through "crystal ball" -style hand motions over the surface. This can be done without touching the device, as it can sense the hand a couple of inches from its surface, allowing for seamless hand motion input.

The device uses capacitive sensing to detect the presence of the hand, signals which are picked up and interpreted by an arduino microcontroller. Each surface independently senses for the presence of a hand and thus can detect multiple motions which can be chained together into a gesture. Data is communicated over serial (either wirelessly or through a USB cable) to a node server which executes scripts on the desired computer either locally or remotely. A chrome extension can also be used for demonstrating browser control. OrangeCube can thus remotely control any computer locally or remotely through the internet, allowing for multiple applications and tasks to be controlled literally with a swipe of the hand.

Examples include:

  • Brushing the hand over the top surface to play/pause music playing on a computer.
  • Making a roll motion over the left, top, right sides to make the browser do a barell roll
  • Motioning the hand up the front face to return to the desktop, or open up command prompt, etc.
  • Switching workspaces with a swipe past the left or right faces
  • Launch Word, Chrome, and play music all at once to prepare your essay writing setup with a brush of the hand over the cube
  • Any combination of applications to launch, close, control, with a single motion or combination of motions