Magic Drawing Box

Prototyping

The Magic Drawing Box promotes a playful, touchless and thereby magic interaction for drawing on a screen.

Overview

The Magic Drawing Box was developed by Sebastian Rehm and Hanna Schneider as part of the Sketching with Hardware course at CDTM in Munich. Our aim was to create a prototypical device which promotes playful interaction.
The user can draw lines onto the device's display. However, this is not done by any traditional input method. Rather, the user can push the cursor of the line into the desired direction by placing her hand on the opposite side of the device. It feels, as if the cursor of the device, is fleeing from its user. Consequently, the cursor gets faster the closer a hand gets to the side of the device. The current drawing is erased by shaking the device.

Magic Drawing Box

Technical

The famous Etch-A-Sketch is used as the display of the prototype. Instead of directly interacting with the Etch-A-Sketch's two input knobs, small servo-motors were attached. Those motors are controlled by an attached Arduino board.
The touchless input was realized by creating a case which has a small copper shield on each side. These serve as a sensor for the Capsense library of Arduino. As a result, we are able to detect the capacitance of the human body, if someone put his hand next to a side of the box. This input is then translated into commands for the motors that drive the display.