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Geek Culture / Conductive wood, how?

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Phaelax
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 01:55
Recently came across this "touch slab" by Oree. While I'm not likely to buy it anytime soon due to it's high price, I love it. But it left me wondering, how did they make a multitouch track pad in a block of wood? Certainly the wood couldn't relay your fingers to any sensors underneath. Their website says not to use polish to clean it which makes me think maybe it's coated with something. Any thoughts?

http://theawesomer.com/oree-touch-slab-wooden-trackpad/252373/

\"I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended.\" - Linus Torvalds
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 03:05 Edited at: 4th Dec 2015 03:11
A coating is my first thought. The touch sensitive layer they place over multitouch screens is (almost entirely) transparent and I'd assume very thin; it's possible they simply transposed one such layer over the wood. As far as I know, you simply need two conductive layers, perpendicularly offset, each containing many thin parallel lines of the conductive material (likely indium tin oxide).

I suppose it's also possible that it's simply a regular trackpad sensor covered by an extremely thin layer of wood. Perhaps, then, it could be a block of wood with a trackpad sensor placed into it and a thin wood ply layer laid over it. They did say single piece of wood however, so I am not sure.

What will we have next? Biodegradable microprocessors made of paper?
Phaelax
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 05:13
I came across this article. All he did was superglue veneer to the touchpad.

http://spatulatzar.com/touchpad/

I have an old apple PowerBook I could try this on. I'm sure there's a way to wire a laptop touchpad to a USB cable for desktop use. (Laptop doesn't work anymore)

\"I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended.\" - Linus Torvalds
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 06:01
That's really neat. Possibly a good solution for some modern laptops that have utterly terrible touchpad surfaces!
BatVink
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 10:36
I would guess that it has thousands of conductive fibres, perpendicular to the surface. When you touch it, you form a connection between one or more fibres. These could be injected into the wood reasonably easy using today's technology. (Easy for a commercial manufacturer).

You can already buy conductive paint and tattoos for making simple low voltage circuits. The paint is intended to make connections via the surface of a wall instead of inside the wall. Once you've created your circuit, you wallpaper or paint over the circuit.
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TheComet
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 11:59
Quote: "I would guess that it has thousands of conductive fibres"


I highly doubt that. Injecting fibers into wood would be extravagant.

It's very likely using what's known as a "projected capacitive surface".



This allows you to tell where a finger is located in 3 dimensions. Nearly all laptops use this technology.
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Phaelax
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 21:41
So my finger wouldn't necessarily have to touch it, just be very close? So if the wood is thin enough that might work.

\"I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended.\" - Linus Torvalds
BatVink
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 22:39
In the image, it shows a glass layer. This wood touchpad is supposedly raw wood.

I tried to Google how it works but with no luck. I would have expected one of the review sites to have dissected one by now.
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Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 23:23 Edited at: 4th Dec 2015 23:25
Quote: "So my finger wouldn't necessarily have to touch it, just be very close?"
Exactly. As far as I know, most touch screens don't even have any conductive material exposed at all. As Comet said, the device can sense a finger on three dimensions, so I am sure a lot of devices can detect your finger's presence before it even makes contact. Neat technology it is!

Quote: "In the image, it shows a glass layer. This wood touchpad is supposedly raw wood."
The image Comet posted? As far as I know, any thin, non-conductive layer works.
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TheComet
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Posted: 4th Dec 2015 23:55
Quote: "The image Comet posted? As far as I know, any thin, non-conductive layer works."


Exactly. Any material that doesn't act as a Faraday cage will work.
\"Windows 10 doesn\'t only include spyware, it is designed as spyware\" -- Gaius Publius, The Big Picture RT Interview
\"[...] we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary\" -- Windows 10 Privacy Statement
Kezzla
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Posted: 12th Dec 2015 09:51
It may not be strictly on topic but I remember a few years back when I was obsessed with Tesla I was playing with high voltage/low current electricity. I had a 5kv ionizer stripped back to wires creating a positive to negative arc. I had it sitting on a wooden chair with the spark gap just out of reach of connecting. If I placed my hand close to the wood(anywhere on seat part of the chair) the spark would jump the gap. hence the conductive wood premise. the most interesting part was that I had a crystal rod, if I placed the crystal rod on the wood of the chair(anywhere on the seat, my had just had to be near it) the range for my body boosting the spark gap increased significantly(2cm+). within the same set of experiments I was using a plasma globe with IR headphones and testing various materials ability to stimulate it. Many materials you would expect to create a connection did not, one of the most striking and closest to human interaction was an obsidian ball I was given, It reacted as though a person had touched it, through a tea towel that was non-reactive (without the obsidian or other tested materials). Again, it seems massively off topic, the subject line took me back and these are results I remember achieving. Try it and see if you can replicate.
The most interesting being, through wood you can wireless interact with a loaded circuit.
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easter bunny
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Posted: 14th Dec 2015 22:39
Quote: "You can already buy conductive paint and tattoos for making simple low voltage circuits. The paint is intended to make connections via the surface of a wall instead of inside the wall. Once you've created your circuit, you wallpaper or paint over the circuit."

So offtopic, but does this mean you could have a computer printed onto your arm...? Like you could literally print a smart card onto your arm and not need to use your bank card anymore

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Phaelax
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Posted: 15th Dec 2015 18:53
Quote: " Like you could literally print a smart card onto your arm"

Don't give the military any ideas, I'm still property!

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Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 15th Dec 2015 22:04
Quote: "Don't give the military any ideas, I'm still property!"
Lol!

Quote: "o offtopic, but does this mean you could have a computer printed onto your arm...? Like you could literally print a smart card onto your arm and not need to use your bank card anymore"
Neat idea! Of course, some of the more complex components like integrated circuits, and more crucial components like capacitors, resistors, etc would have to be glued on as well. I presume they'd be likely to get caught on stuff and fall off easily.
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