MagnaID lets you track multiple magnetic tokens

Atmel | Bits & Pieces

A novel way to interact with tablets and computers using magnets to be presented at Stanford University. 

A new magnetic technology will be presented this weekend at Stanford’s annual TEI Conference. Dubbed MagnID, the project is capable of tracking multiple multiple tokens at the same by tricking a tablet’s internal compass sensor.


“Many tablets come with some sort of triaxial magnetic sensor but as [Andrea] and [Ian]’s demo shows, they are only capable of passing along the aggregate vector of all magnetic forces. If one had multiple magnetic objects, the sensor is not able to provide much useful information,” Hackaday notes.

A combination of both software and hardware, the team has devised custom tokens that spin magnets at precise frequencies. This creates complex sinusoidal magnetic fields that can be mathematically isolated with bandpass filters. Meanwhile, the innovative solution can also infer the distance between each token using what they call a “MagnID sensor,” which contains both an [Atmel based

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