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Touch sensors using lights and PVC? Answered

Hmm... What would it be like to replace a physical switch with a touch sensitive switch. Instead of using a beam of light to detect a triggering, we use a illuminated transparent PVC plastic. This allows the interface to be more flushed into the wall. How it will work, is that by touching the transparent plastic, you allow a small amount of light to escape. The circuit will detect this drop in light level and trigger the switch. Pros: it looks cool, and is of lower maintenance than a physical switch. Its also cheaper then other options such as capacitive sensing Cons: it can have false readings due to the use of light as a sensing medium.

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I have a half-done half-abandoned project for doing "invisible" switches for my home, but I will try it on summer or when finished studying

Close enough?

Please describe this 'escaping of light,' haven't really heard of it before.

How would this differ greatly from using a glowing chunk of plastic, like an Indiglo nightlight, coating the outside surface with a clear conducting film, then linking the film to a traditional touch lamp circuit? The Indiglo thing already has a film on one side of the plastic used, making one plate double-sided would be easy enough.

It would be a new application, a merging, of two existing technologies. Might be patentable. Probably would look cool too.

I thought that was how muti-touch screens worked, except with some other, non-PVC plastic? I'd still like to see a homebrew version if it can be done.