Seeed Studio recently released a new 3D Gesturing & Tracking Shield for the Raspberry Pi, providing the board with gesture recognition and motion tracking functionality. The shield is outfitted with Microchip’s MGC3130 chip and the GestIC Colibri Suite, which uses magnetic near field sensing to determine location and movement.
The shield is outfitted with four orientation strips that capture X, Y, and Z position information, including touch and proximity sensing, as well as tap, double-clicking and in-air gestures (at up to 10 centimeters). According to Seeed, “That’s why we call it the 3D Gesture & Tracking Shield, you don’t even need to touch the central area directly, just wave your hand above the central area, and this shield can sense your movements.”
The MGC3130 chip utilizes a central panel on the shield to produce a magnetic field above the board. When your hand approaches, it disrupts that magnetic field, which enables a receiver below the board to detect the change. The GestIC Calibri Suite processes gestural inputs using data garnered by the MGC3130, which offers noise reduction, high position rates (200 positions per second), low latency, and up to 150dpi in spatial resolution.
The 3D Gesturing & Tracking Shield communicates with the Raspberry Pi via I2C interface, and Seeed has provided a Grove I2C connector if users want to use other modules. It also sports a 40-pin GPIO header with 3.3V input and ground. Seeed’s gesture and tracking shield is now available for $12.90, an excellent price, even if it doesn’t live up to its hype.