As I walked the convention center floor at the 2012 Design West conference in San Jose, CA, it quickly became clear that measurement and sensor technologies are at the forefront of embedded innovation. For instance, at the Terasic Technologies booth, I spoke with Allen Houng, Terasic’s Strategic Marketing Manager, about the VisualSonic Studio project developed by students from National Taiwan University. The innovative design—which included an Altera DE2-115 FPGA development kit and a Terasic 5-megapixel CMOS sensor (D5M)—used interactive tokens to control computer-generated music. Sensor technology figured prominently in the design. It was just one of many exciting projects on display.
In this issue, we feature articles on a variety of measurement-and sensor-related embedded design projects. I encourage you to try similar projects and share your results with our editors.
Starting on page 14, Petre Tzvetanov Petrov describes a multilevel audible logical probe design. Petrov states that when working with digital systems “it is good to have a logical probe with at least four levels in order to more rapidly find the node in the circuit where things are going wrong.” His low-cost audible logical probe indicates four input levels, and there’s an audible tone for each input level.
Matt Oppenheim explains how to use touch sensors to trigger audio tags on electronic devices (p. 20). His design is intended to help visually impaired users. But you can use a few capacitive-touch sensors with an Android device to create the application of your choice.
Read the interview with Lawrence Foltzer on page 30 for a little inspiration. Interestingly, one of his first MCU-based projects was a sonar sensor.
The impetus for Kyle Gilpin’s “menU” design was a microprocessor-based sensor system he installed in his car to display and control a variety of different sensors (p. 34).
The current menU system enables Gilpin to navigate through a hierarchical set of menu items while both observing and modifying the parameters of an embedded design.
The final measurement-and-sensor-related article in this issue is columnist Richard Wotiz’s “Camera Image Stabilization” (p. 46). Wotiz details various IS techniques.
Our other columnists cover accelerated testing (George Novacek, p. 60), energy harvesting (George Martin, p. 64), and SNAP engine versatility (Jeff Bachiochi, p. 68).
Lastly, I’m excited to announce that we have a new columnist, Patrick Schaumont, whose article “One-Time Passwords from Your Watch” starts on page 52.
Schaumont is an Associate Professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. His interests include embedded security, covering hardware, firmware, and software. Welcome, Patrick!
Circuit Cellar 262 (May 2012) is now available.