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villekille

MSP430 full keyboard Capacitive touch technology

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I need to have a keyboard which has all electronics hidden inside and surface materials may only be glass and metal. That is why a conventional keyboard is not going to work as they are made of plastic and plastic keys.

 

Now my idea, to have the top part of the keyboard glass, and rest of the case metal. There is a printed paper behind the glass to show where are the keys, but the actual sensing works with capacitive touch.

 

The MSP430 uC detects keypresses, and sends them out in the same format as regular keyboard would.

 

Will this work? This is just an idea and I am looking forward to having some opinions on this!

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Sounds ambitious to me, but I am new at this so maybe I don't know a lot.

 

A QWERTY or similar keyboard is a large matrix to scan and any additional "function" buttons or key "modifiers" will add to that and complicate things due to having to sense simultaneous key presses. How many pins does the MSP have available for capacitive sensing? You'd need to scan presses and be able to differentiate between "casual" light touches and full pressing.

 

Then again, a capacitive touch system may only report fuzzy X/Y coordinates and "pressure" which may be able to be translated into key presses relatively easy.

 

It would be interesting though, even if only as a gimmick, if you could incorporate an LED or something "under" the keys to show key presses or even where fingers "lie", maybe just a soft glow for light touch and bright for actual key pressing.

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wow that sounds amazing, this could actually be a cool thing to have :D

 

I thought that not every single key needs to be connected to their own port? Just detect the vertical and horizontal coordinates and the software takes care of rest?

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My understanding of things are there are two different ways to go about it-

- have multiple sensors connected in a matrix, and detect the row and column when a key is pressed

... or ...

- have the sensor report the X/Y position of the finger(s) on the sensor, and Z for pressure sensitivity, like many touchpad mouse controllers do. If you can map the X/Y coordinates to keys on the keyboard, then Z (pressure), determines when a key is pressed.

 

 

LED's under the keys could flash when the controller registers a real key press, or could fade in based on the pressure then flash bright when the key is registered as pressed.

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