Linoc: A Prototyping Platform for Capacitive and Passive Electrical Field Sensing
In this paper the Linoc prototyping toolkit is presented. It is a sensor toolkit that focuses on fast prototyping of sensor systems, especially on capacitive ones. The toolkit is built around two capacitive and two Electric Potential Sensing (EPS) groups providing unobtrusive proximity detection in the field of Human Computer Interface (HCI). The toolkits focus lies on its usability and connectivity in order to be adapted in future research and novel use cases. A common obstacle in the beginning of a project is the time required to familiarize with present tools and systems, before the actual project can be attended to. Another obstacle while tackling new tasks is the actual physical connection of sensors to the processing unit. This situation can be even worse due to dependencies on previous work, most of the times not fully documented and missing knowledge even if the the original designer is involved. Good toolkits can help to overcome this problem by providing a layer of abstraction and allowing to work on a higher level. If the toolkit however requires too much time to familiarize or behaves too restrictive, its goal has been missed and no benefits are generated. To assess the quality of the Linoc prototyping toolkit, it was evaluated in terms of three different aspects: demonstration, usage and technical performance. The usage study found good reception, a fast learning curve and an interest to use the toolkit in the future. Technical benchmarks for the capacitive sensors show a detectable range equal to its predecessors and several operational prototypes prove that the toolkit can actually be used in projects.