Physical Touchscreen Knobs

Here’s another quick hack to add more physicality to touch screen displays.  Using a small to medium sized knob, you can modify it (or even use it by itself) to behave as a rotary input.

Similar to the soft stylus, the trick is finding a way to create a conductive path from your hand to the screen.  We started by using copper tape, conductive fabrics (see the soft stylus) and wires to simulate two touch points on opposite sides of the knob.  It takes some careful tuning to get the touch points spaced correctly and sized such that the screen reads them as a touch, but it does work with a little patience.

Alternatively, with a small knob, it’s natural to grab it such that your fingers actually touch the screen making it nothing more than a physical prop to provide some tactile feedback (as shown in the video).  It works great and doesn’t require much in terms of materials or time; just grab a small object and give it a try!

64 responses to “Physical Touchscreen Knobs”

  1. […] Let’s get physical, physical… knobs for touchscreens. […]

  2. […] Whew! Here we are again. Last week we checked out how to turn touch screens back into physical inputs with this hack: Physical knobs for touchscreens. […]

  3. […] Let’s get physical, physical… knobs for touchscreens. […]

  4. […] a video demonstration of the iPhone Knob in action courtesy of the guys over at Gizmodo by way of dslabs which lasts just 16 seconds but shows just how pointless this is. I mean a touchscreen is designed […]

  5. […] like a stylus, but you don’t want to get your iPhone screen all dirty either. Easy solution, build a knob that will simulate the act of touching your iPhone screen. This is an easy build, but it’ll […]

  6. […] introduced a DIY hardware knob that can be used as a virtual, physical control on the multitouch-capable touchscreen devices. It […]

  7. […] interesting ways you can extend a touch inte&#114&#102&#97ce. Similar to work done at Teague Labs and the Reactable project, Knu&#101&#112&#102el looks to make touch interfaces even more […]

  8. […] demonstrating seven interesting ways you can extend a touch interface. Similar to work done at Teague Labs and the Reactable project, Knuepfel looks to make touch interfaces even more tactile and […]

  9. […] has put together a video demonstrating 7 engaging hold UI projects. Similar to work finished during Teague Labs as well as a Reactable project, Knuepfel looks to have hold interfaces even some-more pleasing as […]

  10. […] like a stylus, but you don’t want to get your iPhone screen all dirty either. Easy solution, build a knob that will simulate the act of touching your iPhone screen. This is an easy build, but it’ll […]

  11. […] like a stylus, but you don’t want to get your iPhone screen all dirty either. Easy solution, build a knob that will simulate the act of touching your iPhone screen. This is an easy build, but it’ll […]

  12. […] More dslabs.teague.com This entry was posted in Accessories. Bookmark the permalink. ← The One Minute Hack: DIY […]

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