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ReachFar v1.3 $5,355.02US
2 - 6 : $5,087.37US ( save 5% )
7 - 19 : $4,819.72US ( save 10% )
20 + : $4,284.42US ( save 20% )
excl. sales tax

A sensor to detect someone's approach. Ranges from 1.0 m (3.3 ft) up to 5.5 m (18 ft) distance with a narrow field of view. View, calibrate, record and map the sensor data using our ReachClose software (see below). Combine with the ReachClose sensor to expand the range below 1.0 m.

Application examples

  • Measurement of proximity of people.
  • Combine with lasers and make a laser harp.

Other human, animal and object sensors

We offer a number of sensors to detect motion and/or presence and/or proximity of humans, animals and objects in a space:

  • For a motion sensor with variety of sensitivity and output configuration options, view the MoveOn v1.8.
  • If you need a motion sensor of which the output changes each time any motion is detected so that it can be smoothed to give a signal that roughly represents the amount of activity, checkout the MoveOn v1.4.
  • A smaller version which output stays high while motion is detected and during a fixed length of time afterwards, try the MoveMiniOn.
  • Want to detect motion through walls ? See the MoveThruOn.
  • Need to detect presence as well as body temperature ? Try the HotSpot2D.
  • The Advance-645 detects the distance of a person in a 50° cone.
  • Need pin-point distance detection ? The ReachFar and its digital, laser-accurate cousin ReachFarD detect distance up to 4 m within a cone of a few degrees. The ReachClose and its digital, laser-accurate cousin ReachCloseD do the same but up to 2 m.
  • Setup perimeters with break-beams made from a SeeLaser-Red or the invisible SeeLaser-IR (or any of our SeeLaser products) and a Flash.
  • Place TapTile, TapMatOn or TapStripOn sensors on the floor or stairs to detect a person stepping or standing on it, and even get a measure of the exerted force.
  • To know exactly who is present, use the ReachID and let each visitor be detected through their RFID tag.

Technical specifications

Product ReachFar sensor
Version 1.3 (February 2018)
Sensing parameter distance, proximity
Sensing method modulated infra-red light reflectance sensor
Active volume narrow (a few degrees wide) cone
Range 1.0 m to 5.5 m (3.3 to 18 ft)
Response time 21.5 ± 3.7 ms
m ft Voltage (use 5 V power supply) 7-bit MIDI value (use 'no processing' editor preset)
1.0 3.3 2.5 84
2.0 6.6 1.8 46
550 18 1.4 36
no object present no object present 0 0
Power supply 4.5 to 5.5 V DC, 30 mA (typical) - 50 mA (max) at 5 V
Operating temperature -10 to 60 °C (14 to 140 °F)
Dimensions 58 x 18 x 25 mm (2.3 x 0.71 x 0.98 inch)
Mounting one 4 mm (0.16 inch) mounting hole
Cable 1.0 m (39 inch), shielded, red wire = power, black wire = ground, white wire = sensor output, extendable at least 20 m (66 ft) with ExtendCableD-10
Connector male 1x4 plug with a row of 3 pins in a row spaced 2.54 mm (0.100 inch)
Weight 25 g (0.9 oz), incl. cable
Software support

  1. Our SensePlay software is a very easy way to quickly map sensor data to (sequences of) sounds, images and videos using a drag & drop user interface.
  2. Our EditorX software allows you to configure the digitizer to process and map the sensor data of multiple sensors simultaneously.
  3. Our Link software allows you to receive the sensor data from the digitizer and use your computer to view, calibrate, record, process and map the sensor data of multiple sensors simultaneously.
  4. Our SensorX software allows you to receive the sensor data from the digitizer and use your computer to view, calibrate, record, process and map the data of a single sensor.
  5. 08 Dec 2010: ReachClose v1.11 for MacOS and Windows from source code in Max.

Application notes
  1. Warning ! Make sure the sensor is plugged into the digitizer with the red wire connected to 5V power.
  2. The ReachFar current draw fluctuates between 30 - 50 mA which creates power supply noise. When using multiple ReachFar with one digitizer the sensor signals will be more noisy. Hence it is recommended to use only one ReachFar per digitizer. For best results, connect the ReachFar to a separate 5V power supply.
  3. To connect one or more ReachFar to a separate USB 5V power supply, use USB-PowerCables. Alternatively, lift the plastic lever that blocks the pin connected to the red wire in the sensor plug so that the pin can be pushed out. Then connect this pin to the 5V output of a USB power supply. If the USB power supply and the digitizer are connected to the same USB hub there is no need to connect the ground of the USB power supply to the ground pin that is connected to the black wire of the plug of the sensor.
  4. The number of ReachFar that can be used with one digitizer is determined by the maximum current that can be supplied to the sensors by the digitizer divided by the maximum current required by the ReachFar, ie. 50 mA.
  5. Due to the modulation of the infra-red light that is used to detect a reflecting object the sensor is insensitive to ambient light variations.
  6. Regular (ie. not hardened) glass or other transparent surfaces can be placed in front of the sensor but for best results place the sensor as close as possible to the surface and make sure the sensor emits/receives light perpendicular to the surface to avoid reflections that distort the sensor output.
  7. Due to the narrow field of view, at about 1 meter distance objects as small as a few centimeters wide/diameter can be detected. The further away, the larger and better reflecting (wrt. infra-red light) the object should be. The more directional the object reflects (eg. a mirror), ie. the less diffusely it reflects, the more the object has to be held such that it reflects back to the sensor the infra-red light emitted by the sensor. Multiple sensors can be placed apart about the same distance as the minimum detectable object size, without the sensors interfering with each other's measurements.

This page was updated on Saturday 16 July 2022.
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