Touch Project – Haitian and Cheryl

This idea came from a dream where I was kidnapped and was being suffocated: as i was passing out, I was hoping there’s something on my clothes which I can use to send a message for help. I developed this idea a bit more after I woke up: it should be something unnoticeable and the user can use it without being noticed. So I thought of using morse code through the sense of touch. It could be preset to connect to a phone number and you can either use for urgency or just use it as a secret language with your friend.

After I talked to Haitian more about this idea, we developed this idea more in terms of design. We want it to make it portable and multifunctional (in terms of how you wear it) so that the user could personalize it more. We wanted to separate the technical part and the design part in terms of components so it could be easily made into a kit to make it more fun, more personalized, and more safe in a sense.

The circuit and coding was in the end pretty straight forward, but we did spent quite some time in figuring out 1) what sensor we should use 2) should we use analog and digital input or both. And we were basically trying different combinations with these two topics and see which works the best and is the most feasible. A few sensors we tried to use: touch sensor, force sensitive sensor and capacitive sensor. Touch sensor turned out to be a little too bulky for our purpose and the design and could include a lot of unwanted touch into processing though it worked pretty well. Capacitive sensor would fit the purpose well but probably because we don’t understand well about it and didn’t have much time to play with it, it was a little buggy. We end up using force sensitive sensor as it could function as a touch sensor but is more light-weight and doesn’t take in all the unwanted touches.

The struggle with had with the choice between digital and analog really comes down to how the software process the interaction: through the force it’s sensing or the time the sensor is being pressed. Although analog input seems to be more accurate and sensitive, there’s trickier when it’s on clothing and when one’s panicking. While using digital, therefore time, is more straight-forward.

I think to go further with this project, there are two main things we can work on: 1) make it wireless and translate the code – because of time, we didn’t really had time to figure out the whole sending a text message part; it could be more feasible too if we could add another program before the message to phone that translate morse code into words 2) optimize the components used to make it as simple and lightweight as possible.

(with force sensitive sensor)

(experimenting with capacitive sensor)

(experimenting with touch sensor)

(we tried to use motor as an output just to inform the user, but decided that we really don’t want to catch any attention with the output)(the design)

(the part with all the circuit and components that’s hidden behind the design)


const unsigned long TIMEOUT = 10000000ul;
const int presspin = 9;
unsigned long duration = 0;

void setup()
  pinMode(presspin, INPUT);

void loop()
  duration = pulseIn(presspin, HIGH, TIMEOUT);

  if(duration > 0){
     // Serial.println(duration);

    if(duration > 5000 && duration < 200000){
      }else if(duration > 200000 && duration < 600000){
        }else if (duration > 600000){

Leave a Reply