The Mighty Pencil: DIY Paper Touch Pad Gets Great Marks

The traditional computer mouse may not be dead just yet, but touch pads are quickly becoming the input device of choice for plenty of computing enthusiasts. That might be the case even more so now that a clever modder has figured out how to make a touch pad out of little more than a piece of paper and some graphite from a pencil.

The graphite acts as an electrical conductor after it is scribbled onto the piece of paper. Four voltage dividers are clamped on to the corners of the paper and the user wears an anti-static wrist strap to ground his hand. When his finger touches the touch pad, it completes and circuit and allows the attached Arduino to calculate the finger’s position on the field. Pretty amazing invention – as long as you don’t mind graphite all over your finger.

submit to reddit
See more in Do It Yourself or under Technology. November, 2010.
Become a Fan on Facebook