uMotio: Arduino compatible 3D Gesture Controller

Control your world! The uMotio allows you to interact with the world around you using hand and finger position tracking and free-space gestures.
Black Box Industries
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Email Verified
South Africa
3 Team Members


Interact and control the world around you! The uMotio is an open and easy to use 3D tracking and gesture controller. Plug it into your computer for a new human interface experience. Use the uMotio to control your media, your games or embed it into your latest DIY project. Not only can the uMotio sense the position of your hand (x, y and z) but it also has built in gestures.

The uMotio brings a new experience to both the regular user, gamer or hacker. Whether it be on a computer, appliances, lighting or your own projects. Using hand and finger tracking you control your world!

The uMotio works straight out of the box, no technical experience required. Have the technical experience? Don't worry, we have you covered. The uMotio is fully Arduino (tm) compatible and with our gesture library you will be integrating motion and gesture control into all your projects without any difficulty.

Note: All the photos and videos are from our working prototypes, final product may vary in size & appearance.


As seen on

 What do I get ?

We have a variety of perks available depending on what you need:

uMotio White 

The uMotio White is the 3D tracker and gesture controller as seen in the pictures and used for the demo's in the video. It has a mini USB connector for connection to your computer, Raspberry Pi etc. It also has additional inputs and outputs for use with your Arduino (tm) projects.

uMotio Blue

The uMotio Blue has everything the uMotio White has and includes Bluetooth low energy with an integrated rechargeable battery to control your devices wirelessly!

Harley shield adapter 

All the additional IO on the uMotio White/Blue is available on the back of the uMotio. Due to the nature of the uMotio, it isn't practical to make it Arduino (tm) shield compatible. Should you want to use existing Arduino (tm) shields then you need the Harley Shield Adapter. It connects to your uMotio with an included ribbon cable and provides a regular Arduino (tm) shield compatible layout so that you can use your existing shields with the uMotio. There is a prototype section, push button and LED's on the shield for you to use. We added this pledge available separately should you want more than 1 shield.

Hacker Editions

The hacker editions (available with the uMotio White and Blue), contains the uMotio Arduino (tm) controller and the Harley Shield for immediate hardware hacking when you receive your kit.

How does it actually work ?

The 3d sensor technology uses transmit frequencies f in the range of 100 kHz, which reflects a wavelength of about three kilometers. With electrode geometries of typically less than twenty by twenty centimeters, this Tx wavelength is much larger in comparison. Therefore, the magnetic component is practically zero and no wave propagation takes place. The result is a quasi-static electrical near field that can be used for sensing conductive objects such as the human body.

Once a user intrudes the sensing area, the electrical field distribution becomes distorted. The field lines intercepted by the hand are shunted to ground through the conductivity of the human body itself. The proximity of the body causes a compression of the equipotential lines and shifts the receiver electrode signal levels to a lower potential which is detected by the 3D sensor technology.

Hardware Technical Specs 

The 3D tracking and gesture sensing is done using Microchip's 32-bit MGC3130 GestIC Technology. This gives the uMotio a 0 to 15cm detection range with a high resolution of up to 150 dpi.

To interface with the world around it, you will find an Atmel ATmega32U4 8-bit AVR microcontroller operating at 3.3V. On the AVR we will load an Arduino (tm) compatible bootloader so you can easily run your own applications on the uMotio.

In addition to the above mentioned features, the uMotio Blue comes packaged with an internal Li-ion rechargeable battery and a Bluetooth V4.0, Low Energy module. Allowing you to wirelessly control your devices.

Arduino Compatibility

We have created a very cool Arduino (tm) library to allow you to easily create your own programs that run on the uMotio. Get hand tracking information with just a few lines of code!

Where we are in development ?

Currently we have a few working prototypes. These prototypes have been used in the video above and the same prototypes have been used for our demos that we did at various hacker-spaces (BinarySpace/House4Hack)

We are busy with the final testing of our Arduino (tm) library while improving it as we go along. We are also building an extensive library of various code examples.

We have started testing the uMotio Blue prototype. Currently we have working hardware and are busy developing the firmware.

uMotio Real World Applications


Your computer sees your uMotio as a game controller out of the box. Use it to play your favorite games or develop new unique games for a gesture game controller.

Media Control

Use the uMotio as a media control. Change the song with a swipe of your hand or turn the volume up/down with a simple gesture.


Want to create a unique kiosk for your product/advertisements? The uMotio makes for a great durable controller. Have your clients navigate brochures with simple swipe actions. Your kiosk is a lot cleaner and durable without buttons that can break. The uMotio can be embedded behind a wooden or plastic panel.

Hospital 'No Touch' Control

Have an environment where prevention of spreading germs is a big priority? With the built in gestures there are many different options available for controlling various devices. For example control the lights (including dimming) or the air conditioner from the same controller.

DIY Projects

Because of the open nature of the uMotio it is very easy to integrate it into your own DIY projects. Make a gesture controlled robot, or even create a unique 3D printer controller! There are various ways to get the tracking and gesture data from the uMotio, so even if you don't want to make new Arduino (tm) firmware, you can still get the data from a simple serial port connection. Connect it to your computer, Raspberry Pi or even your Cubie.

Open hardware and Software

Schematics, layouts and software will be released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. This will be available on GitHub after the campaign ends successfully. Designs and software library will be available when finalized.

Why we need your support

We currently have working prototypes of the uMotio and we have received a lot of interest from hackers and users all over. The most cost effective way of building more uMotio's though, is to do it in bulk. Our crowd funding campaign is a way for us to gauge the interest and to get the capital to do our first production run. With your help we can turn our prototype into a great product that can bring gesture and 3D tracking into the hands of user, makers and hackers all over the world. Money funded from this campaign will be used for setup costs, certifications and the initial production run of uMotio units.


Who are we ?

Ignatius Havemann and Tom Van den Bon. Hardware R&D Engineers by day, passionate designers/makers by night. We enjoy creating new and innovative devices and gadgets. We are hackers at heart and if we think we can build something better, then chances are we will try. With more than 20 years of combined engineering experience between us we hope to create gadgets and products that will change the way the world thinks and operates.

Risks & Challenges

The risk are relatively small since we have already done a lot of work on the uMotio and currently have fully working prototypes.

Our current employer produces a variety of products and we are directly involved in the production of thousands of units every month. We can easily handle a small production run in-house. Should the demand be much higher, have the know-how and experience to ramp this up. We have confirmed quotes and lead times for outsourced production.


Q. What do I need to know about shipping?

A. All physical pledges include free surface mail postal shipping. Unfortunately we cannot place any guarantees on your uMotio arriving in a timely fashion. We have a courier pledge available should you want us to courier your uMotio to you.

Shipping does not include customs fees, duties and/or taxes you might incur when importing products into your country.

Q. Does the uMotio need a computer for gesture processing?

A. No, the uMotio does all gesture and tracking processing on-board. Our robot gripper demo is a good example of the uMotio in action without a computer.

Q. How sensitive is the uMotio? Will my mobile phone interfere with it?

A. The low frequencies (70 - 130 kHz) the uMotio operates on guarantees no interference will disturb the controller. Frequency hopping is also utilized for robustness. We have placed a phone on the tracking pad and while dialing it the uMotio still operated flawlessly.

Need more information ?

Should you have any questions, concerns or feedback, feel free to contact us in the comments section or at info[at]

Thank you!

The uMotio Team

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This campaign ended on June 3, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    You are awesome!

    Thank you for your support! We will keep you up-to-date on the further development of the uMotio. Your name will be listed on the contributor's page on our website.

    2 claimed
  • $10USD
    Harley shield adapter

    Connect any standard Arduino™ shield to your uMotio and easily control your own projects!

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $35USD
    International courier shipping

    If you want your uMotio delivered by courier service you will need to add this pledge.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014

    Early bird special

    Get your uMotio White at a 15% reduced price and help us get started!

    20 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $75USD
    uMotio White - Hacker special

    Get a uMotio White with the Harley shield adaptor included. Connect any standard Arduino™ shield to your uMotio and easily control your own projects!

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $98USD
    uMotio Blue

    Control your world with a uMotio Blue. This model includes Bluetooth low energy and an integrated rechargeable battery to control your devices wirelessly!

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $108USD
    uMotio Blue - Hacker special

    Get a uMotio Blue with the Harley shield adaptor included. Connect any standard Arduino™ shield to your uMotio and easily control your own projects! This model includes Bluetooth low energy and an integrated rechargeable battery to control your devices wirelessly!

    6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Control your product

    Want to include 3D tracking and gesture control in a product of your own but do not have the resources or time? We will assist and/or design this exciting technology into your product, whatever your needs. You are welcome to contact us and sort out details before you pledge.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
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