Category Archives: Touch Wood

Press Release

“Touch Wood” is a touch sensitive pad, with three different panels, each panel triggering a different sound to be played. The primary function of the product is to be a “doorbell”. The pad will be placed on the wall next to, or on the users’ front door. When a visitor approaches the door, instead of ringing a bell, or knocking on the door, they will knock on the pad, and each different area knocked upon will play a different sound throughout the house to alert the home owner. The limitless amount of knocking patterns, and different sounds available, means that the each user can have a completely original doorbell, and never grow tired of hearing it. People who live in the house will soon be able to recognise who is at the door without actually seeing them, all because each individual will have their own personal knock. With the ever growing popularity of social networking, “Touch Wood” could also be incorporated by using the “check in” feature on Facebook, or to Tweet your location. Each user could have their own pattern of knocks to act as a password and then allow their friends to know where they are.

Press Release Video

Touch Wood’s press release video, hopefully it speaks for itself.

Display Photographs

A few images of the final product.

Final Tweaks

With each part of the model finished and put together, i began sorting out the range used in the coding so that it was as responsive as possible. This took some amount of time as it meant dealing with the tempermental piezo sensors again.

Construction

With the final design planned out, I began constructing the model. My final choice of material was mahogany, this is because it is a hard wood which picks up good vibrations and also has a classic old fashioned look to it which will contrast with the technology hidden beneath it.

After the frame and panels were made, i began sanding them so they were smooth to touch and also rounded the edges of the frame for aesthetic appeal.

After the model was shaped and smooth all over, I finished it by using a weather resistant oil so that it brought out the natural colour of the mahogany and also protected it from the rain, as it will be used outside front doors.

With the frame polished up, i attatched the housing bracket to the back to conceal the electronics.

Final Concept

After much alteration in the direction of the project, a final concept and design had been decided upon. The product will be a touch sensitive pad, with three different panels, each panel triggering a different sound to be played. The primary function of the product will be a “doorbell”. The pad will be placed on the wall next to, or on the users front door. When a visitor approaches the door, instead of ringing a bell, or knocking on the door, they will knock on the pad, and each different area knocked upon will play a different sound throughout the house to alert the home owner. People who live in the house will soon be able to recognise who is at the door without actually seeing them, all because each individual will have their own personal knock.

Piezo Sensors

When i first started using the piezo sensors i thought they were fantastic and wanted to incorporate them into everything i used, although as time went on my opinion slowly changed as i discovered how tempermental they are, to get a consistant reading, the range used in the programming software (picaxe) has to be extremely accurate. So after many hours of fiddling with different coding and different positioning for the sensors, i finally had them behaving.

Material Testing

The second type of material for the touch pad was acrylic, this picked up the vibrations very well. I also then tried out using multiple sensors to see how they would react and if i could control various outputs at once.

Touch pad testing

I began prototyping different types of pressure sensors, with different materials to see which would react the best. This is a video showing the first prototype, made from two layers of perspex held together with a wooden frame and a piezo sensor between them. The test circuit is a simple one using two LED’s, one green and one yellow. The idea is when the pad is tapped lightly, the green LED will flash and when a heavier touch is used, the yellow LED will light.

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