Gesture control for your TV

Frederick Vandenbosch has been at it again. This time, inspired by watching his kids use tablet devices, he’s built a gesture control device for his TV, which manages to be both functional and very elegant.


At the core of this device is a Model A Raspberry Pi, and a Pimoroni Skywriter HAT. The Skywriter is a near-field electrical sensor that can detect 3d movements and gestures as well as swipes and taps – it’s one of my favourite HATs on the market at the moment (I have one which I’ve mostly been playing with in music projects). Here’s a naked Skywriter, doing its thing. Do the clickety thing with the audio button.

Jonathan Williamson’s post on Vine

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One of the great things about this particular HAT is that it still works if you hide it from sight under a sheet of something non-conductive – which is exactly what Frederick’s doing in this build. It’s always a real pleasure to see projects with this level of finish; this (non-conductive) case is just some simply sanded and polished ply, but it looks fantastic and wouldn’t be out of place on the coffee table next to your sofa. (We also applaud the choice of very handsome USB cable that Frederick’s using to supply power. Little things can make all the difference.)

gesture box

This gesture controller talks to the TV using LIRC (Linux Infra-red Control); Frederick’s built an IR led to transmit, and an IR receiver, into the box; that’s what those two little holes in the front are for.

Here’s a video guiding you through the build.

Gesture based TV Remote Control Using Raspberry Pi and Skywriter HAT

Ever wanted to control your TV using gestures instead of a remote control? In this project, I use the Raspberry Pi and Skywriter HAT to convert gestures to infrared signals capable of controlling the TV. Have feedback on this project? Ideas for another? Let me know in the comments!

Being Frederick (we’ve featured one of his meticulous projects here before), he’s documented the whole build minutely, so you’ll find it a doddle to make your own. Head over to his website for full instructions and code; and let us know if you build one of these for yourself!