Tindie Blog | Capacitive Touch… For Your Feet?!

Capacitive touch has taken over our everyday lives. Phone screens, smart assistants, tablets, there are touchscreens everywhere! But maybe your feet don’t get enough attention. I mean, they’re perfectly usable limbs! Well, the RP20-Footie is a great little board from JC Devices that allows you to use a footswitch for just about anything.

It can be configured to work like a macropad, simply sending specific keystrokes when you touch a pedal. Or it could be used to send MIDI commands and trigger sounds, lights, or anything else you might want to automate. We’ve seen some hardcore emacs/vim users with foot pedals, specifically to hit modifier keys and help prevent repetitive strain injury.

One of the benefits of capacitive touch is that it takes almost no pressure at all to trigger. This may or may not be good for your particular setup, but not having to press down with your foot can also prevent possible RSI. The touch pads also give this board an extremely thin profile compared to traditional switch-based actuators. And capacitive touch can be triggered much faster than a switch, which might also be a plus.

JC Devices has based this around the ever-present Raspberry Pi Pico, so software customization will be fairly easy. With the correct libraries, a few small changes are all that would be needed to customize this device to your particular use case. It’s possible to simply wire the pads up as switches; add an opto-isolator and you can interface to just about anything.

Knowing Jeremy, if you run into trouble with the RP20-Footie in any way, he’ll be there to help figure it out. So not only are you helping support a fellow hacker, you’ll also be getting top-notch support!

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