[Idea] Air Mouse





Introduction: [Idea] Air Mouse

A simple design (idea) to allow you to move the mouse pointer with hand gestures. This design used a LED and 9 photocells to watch shadow movements cast by your hand, and then convert that to mouse pointer movements on your computer.

Step 1: The Idea

The idea for the "Air Mouse" was to be able to control your computer simply my moving your hand trough the air. Each photocell is arranged in a 3x3 matrix to detect the shadow cast by your hand so the microcontroller can determine in witch direction to move the mouse pointer. A LED raised above the device will help create a sharp contrast between the shadow of your hand and every ware else. The advantage of this design is it doesn't matter what hand you use, you could even use your foot if you really wanted.

If a shadow is detected over the central and bottom center photocell then the mouse will be stationary. A shadow over every cell in the middle vertical column indicates a up movement. Just the bottom center is a down movement. Right center and right bottom is right, all the right hand row is up/right, just bottom right corner is right/down, and all this mirrored for left movement.

It's a fairly simple design, and the device itself wouldn't be hard to create. The challenge would be in the programming, and even that shouldn't be too overly difficult. If you got really creative you could very the speed of the pointer by watching how much shadow is over a particular photocell. If you used an IR led and a photocell capable of detecting IR light you could make a design that won't light up the room and create glare, while not being to influenced by bright lighting.



  • Epilog Challenge 9

    Epilog Challenge 9
  • First Time Author Contest 2018

    First Time Author Contest 2018
  • Sew Warm Contest 2018

    Sew Warm Contest 2018

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




You can also try using the webcam with image analyzer outputting to a touchpad driver.


Logitech Have An Air Mouse, That works in the air or on a desk. Check it out its pretty sweet. But I cant imagine the accuracy in air would be too good.

Click Here For The Mouse

you should hook this up to an arduino

Since optical mice are essentially a low resolution camera with super close focus, why not just use one of those?
I just did a not-so-scientific experiment with mine by putting a spare lens I had under the sensor and propping it up off the desk. When I move my hand under it, it can *sorta* track it. A better lens would be better, I think.

Oh and the movements were reversed (fixed with proper optics?) Hmm...

Great idea, but Some commercial presentation controls already use other technologies to do this, perhaps similar to Wii controllers. Also my Intel camera came with software to do similar control for interactive games. I am not sure but I believe it also had direct mouse like control too.

Great idea!

Wait until Nintendo's Wii comes out - someone's bound to hack it into a mouse.

My arm would grow tired after a good session of web browsing or CS:S :( Nifty idea but not too practical IMHO.

You could use your foot :P