Magic Presentations with Skywriter

Magic Presentations with Skywriter

Let’s face it: simply using a Raspberry Pi to run the slides for your talk will make the audience think you’re pretty cool. But if that’s not impressive enough, why not dazzle them further by using your telekinetic powers to flip through the presentation and annotate the slides by drawing in the air? You don’t even need to be a graduate of Hogwarts or the Jedi Academy: just get yourself a Skywriter device and some simple Python, and you’re ready to rock. The Skywriter device uses a grid of transmitting electrodes to generate an electric field that propagates around the surface in three dimensions. When you move your hand above the Skywriter, it disturbs this field and these variations are detected by the receiver electrode grid. These measurements can be used to calculate the position and movement direction of your hand. This tutorial can be found in The MagPi 39 and was written by Richard Hayler You’ll need… Skywriter HAT or board Skywriter API library Python AutoPy library LibreOffice Impress STEP-01 Connect the Skywriter device If you have a Skywriter HAT, this just connects onto the GPIO pins like other HATs. If you have the larger Skywriter board, you’ll need to connect six GPIO pins to the matching pins at the top, as shown below. Pay attention to the wiring diagram! STEP-02 Install the software Make sure you have the latest version of Raspbian, with all updates installed. As usual, those helpful Pimoroni Pirates supply a single script to handle the installation, including the full Python API. Like most HATs, the Skywriter needs the I2C bus on the Pi to be enabled, so if you haven’t already got this activated on your Pi, you’ll need to reboot before the Skywriter will work.$ curl -sSL get.pimoroni.com/skywriter | bashYou’ll also need the AutoPy Python library and its dependencies, so install these with:$ sudo apt-get install libx11-dev libxtst-dev…and then:$ sudo pip install autopy STEP-03 Test your Skywriter The Python API has example scripts to help you become familiar with the way Skywriter works:$ cd Pimoroni/skywriter $ sudo python test.pyNow wave your hand around in the air just above your Skywriter. You should see three columns of scrolling numbers corresponding to your hand’s position in a three-axis (x/y/z) box over the device. The Python library is preconfigured to recognise certain gestures: a flick (swiping over the Skywriter), a tap or touch (bring your hand…
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