Tickle Overlays

I have been exploring different materials to create possible overlays for Tickle. The idea is creating something similar to Sensel’s overlays.

It is not that I do not like how Tickle looks, but different sound explorations require different tactile profiles. You know that Tangible Scores is mostly about this.

I know Tickle calibrates the capacitive surface when it starts, so I installed the following materials before connecting it to power. These are my results:

  • Paper 50 gr: good location detection (CC 2, CC 4). MIDI notes well produced. Tactile feedback not so nice. It is quite granular.
  • Paper 300 gr: good location XY (CC 2, CC 4), MIDI notes only received if touch surface is bigger.
  • Paper 450 gr: error at location XY (CC 2, CC 4), MIDI notes received badly with error detection.
  • Cardboard one layer (max 2 mm height): poor detection, not workable.
  • Silicone: no touch detection at all.
  • Wood (plywood 2 mm): no touch detection at all
  • Tyvek®: good detection, OK if finger touch are is increased
  • Plastic Sheet (typical office plastic sheet): good detection

Interestingly, it seems that CC2 and CC4 are more robust and better detected than the MIDI notes created after a simple finger touch. Is this observation correct?

Overlays could be a great idea for the future, however, I do not find a cheap material ready to work with the actual capacitive values. Maybe a PCB redesign with more lines could be an option to improve touch detection? Have you also tried any overlay?


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Nice experiments! Thanks a lot for sharing your results!

Yes, this is normal behavior: The midi notes are only triggered if the detected X and Y locations are valid at the same time during a surface scan. This mitigates false positives. When the axes are read independently synchronicity is not an issue!

Best wishes!

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Overlays are great for different tactile feedback, but at the same time they need to be done right. We think that the magnets on the Sensel are to weak to really hold the overlays firmly in place while performing gestures on them. Since we are working with capacitive touch on the Tickle, all materials with air enclosures will reflect the capacitive field so they make finger detection less robust to impossible.

The next generation will be running on resistive touch technology, so we can re-think overlays with it.

mmm, resistive touch tech!
yeah, capacitive is slow and difficult to calibrate, I know.
Looking forward to see next generations soon… :wink: