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Real hand gestures to play Flappy Bird, using doppler effect and microphone.
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index.html Spacing Jan 13, 2020

Handy Bird

Play Flappy Bird by actually flapping your hands.

Play it now here:


  • Does not work in Firefox. Works well in Chrome.
  • Sound must be on and maximized. You may hear the high-pitched tone it uses. Best to use built-in laptop speaker.
  • Microphone access must be allowed. It listens to the change in the tone to detect motion.
  • Flap your hand toward your microphone. On Macbook it is by top-left of the keyboard. You may have to Google where it is on your computer.
  • The speaker or microphone on some computers may not be able to handle the 20kHz tone used for the doppler detection.


I was totally amazed by Daniel Rapp's demo that its possible to detect hand movement using the doppler effect in javascript. Given that I must make everything into a game, Flappy Bird was the obvious choice. Nebez Briefkani had already created a great javascript version, Floppy Bird. Excellent code in both projects enabled this mash-up.

Local Development

The microphone is not permitted files served from the filesystem. To develop on a local machine, you'll have to start a webserver. This should work:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8000
You can’t perform that action at this time.