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Touch v1.4.1 (obsolete)

A sensor no one should do without. Contact pressure provides continuous control. Responds to pressure from approx. 0.4 KPa (4 g/cm2, 0.06 PSI) to 981 KPa (10 Kg/cm2, 142 PSI) or a force of approx. 0.5 N (50 g, 0.1 lb) to 98 N (10 Kg, 22 lb) that's applied evenly across its active area, a square surface of 38 x 38 mm (1.5 x 1.5 inch). View, calibrate, record and map the sensor data using our TouchSensors software (see below). See this videoclip for a demo !

And look, it's part of a family. Here are it's relatives (note that some of these sensors have a different response curve):

Application examples

  1. Can be easily worn or applied to a variety of flat surfaces. Blow Laurie Anderson, Marillion and others away. Trigger those samples!
  2. Use as a touch controller, eg. for a synthesizer.
  3. Create a fancy control panel by combining Push sensors (Push, Push2D), Reach sensors (Reach, ReachClose, ReachOn), Slide sensors (Slide-50, Slide-170, Slide-500, SlideRound, SlideWide), Touch sensors (see above and TouchMiniOn) and Turn sensors to name a few.

Technical specifications

Product Touch sensor
Version 1.4.1 (October 2005)
Sensing parameter contact pressure or force
Sensing technology zero-travel force sensitive resistor
Active area 37.5 x 37.5 mm (1.48 x 1.48 inch)
Range approx. 0.4 KPa (4 g/cm2, 0.06 PSI) to 981 KPa (10 Kg/cm2, 142 PSI) or
approx. 0.5 N (50 g, 0.1 lb) to 98 N (10 Kg, 22 lb), applied evenly across active area
Repeatability 5% (max) for one sensor, 25% (max) across multiple sensors
Response time 1 to 2 ms (mechanical)
Output resistance more than 100 KOhm (at 0 N) to 200 Ohm (at 98 N) in parallel with 47 KOhm
Calibration (force applied evenly across active area)
N Kg lb Voltage (use 5 V power supply) 7-bit MIDI value (use 'no processing' editor preset)
0 0 0 0.00 0
0.98 0.10 0.22 3.15 80
9.8 1.0 2.2 4.92 125
98 10 22 5.00 127
Calibration (force applied per unit of active area)
KPa PSI Voltage (use 5 V power supply) 7-bit MIDI value (use 'no processing' editor preset)
0 0 0.00 0
0.68 0.098 3.15 80
6.8 0.98 4.92 125
68 9.8 5.00 127
Power supply 1.0 to 10 V DC, 0.1 mA at 5 V
Operating temperature -20 to 100 C (-4 to 212 C)
Sensor dimensions 38 x 38 x 0.5 mm (1.5 x 1.5 x 0.02 inch)
Weight 15 g (0.5 oz), incl. cable
Cable 1.0 m (39 inch), shielded, red wire = power, black wire = ground, white wire = sensor output, maximum extension 30 m (98 ft)
Connector male plug with 3 pins in a row spaced 2.54 mm (0.100 inch)
Software support

  1. 8 Dec 2010: TouchSensors v1.11 for MacOS and Windows from source code in Max

Application notes
  1. Please note that calibration of the sensor requires careful attention to detail since they behave differently near the extremes of the usable range. The sensor behaves as a force sensor within the specified range but may not behave like a force sensor beyond this range. It is merely documented as a saturation effect above the range, meaning that sensitivity changes with force, and as a threshold effect below the range, which behaviour may be hard to repeat or even random.
  2. To obtain reliable results, the force has to be applied evenly across the active surface area of the sensor. Using a finger to calibrate or to measure how much force you exert is very unreliable unless you at least use a flat rigid object between the finger and the sensor.
  3. If the sensor shows a non-zero value when no force is applied, flatten the sensor between two flat objects for a few days. Any bending of the sensor may result in a non-zero at-rest value. Store sensor in flat position for best results.
  4. Using adhesive to attach the sensor may result in a non-zero value when no force is applied

This page was updated on Monday 21 July 2014.
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