Carnegie Mellon University HCI Master’s Studies. March 2008

electronics prototyping, Arduino, activity sensing, accelerometer, capacitive touch sensing, sound feedback, serial communication, acrylic form factor fabrication with laser cutting, Processing visualization


Build an interesting concept with both hardware and software components for my “Gadgets and Sensors” class.

What I did

EdgeWave was a device that let you do primitive input by handwaving characters in air. The strokes were transmitted to a visualizer implemented in Processing. The visualizer displayed the raw strokes as well as the distilled motion vector and the corresponding EdgeWrite chraracter.

To make the device easy to hold in the hand, I fabricated a case out of acrylic using a laser cutter. Through smart dimensioning of the tabs and a bunch of prototype iterations, I constructed the 3D case out of 2D surfaces snapping into each other through tabs and notches. I did not use any glue, screws or other adhesive or attachment method. The case could be assembled and disassembled repeatedly and without any tools, and was fairly rigid and stable in its assembled form.


I learned a bunch about electronics, laser cutting, and passed the class. It was a cool class.