Capong & Finger Twister | Gesture Control using the Pi Cap

Pong and Twister are some of our favourite games. In a recent workshop, we were lucky to have Paul Tanner, Tina Aspiala and Ross Atkin hack these classic games with the Pi Cap and give them a new twist.

Why the Pi Cap? This Raspberry Pi add-on allows you to add precise capacitive touch, proximity sensing and high-quality audio to Raspberry Pi projects. It works with the Raspberry Pi A+, B+, Zero and later (any Raspberry Pi with a 40 pin GPIO connector). With the sensing precision of the Touch Board, and the computing power of the Raspberry Pi, the Pi Cap is a great tool for transforming physical inputs to digital outputs. Find out more about the Pi Cap’s features here.

The first game the team tackled was a reinterpretation of Pong, adeptly named Capong! (capacitive + Pong) The team decided to hack the game by using the Pi Cap’s proximity sensors to detect the movement of the two players hands.

The goal was to make an upwards and downwards movement control the bars on the Pong screen. But first, to prototype the functionality and iron out the code, a cardboard box was wired with some aluminium foil and crocodile clips connecting to two of the Pi Cap’s electrodes.

This gave Paul a quick and easy test rig to work out the code by using the Pi Cap’s proximity code example.

While Paul worked on the code, Ross drew a vector illustration using Adobe Illustrator to send to the laser cutter. The final output? A super sleep red and white acrylic model.

Impressively, for a 5-hour project, this game looked and worked beautifully! So much so, that everyone had to have a go at the end of the workshop.

Not satisfied with making one awesome game, Tina, Paul and Ross decided to do a second one as well.

Although they originally wanted to make a 1:1 size model, they decided to go for a smaller version, named Finger Twister.

For this game, the team used the capacitive touch code from example library. With a little bit of help from the Szymon Kaliski, they wrote up a program that allowed the Pi Zero to give verbal instructions as to what finger to put on what letter, then confirm whether you’ve done so or not.

Judging from the enthusiasm that finger twisted elicited from the crowd, we really hope they take it forward and make a life-size version!

Liked this project and want to make your own? Head here to see the step by step tutorial.

Find out more about the Pi Cap’s features or get yours today our online shop.