Trill sensors bring beautiful touch interaction to digital projects
From computer interfaces to textiles, musical instruments to interactive artworks, we experience the world by touching it. Getting touch right in the design of objects and products is essential – this is where the Trill sensors come in.
The Trill sensors use capacitive sensing to precisely track finger movements, making it quick and easy to create beautifully responsive new touch interfaces.
Trill is brought to you by the team behind Bela, the open-source maker platform for working with audio and sensors. With this Kickstarter we want to bring rapid touch prototyping to makers, product designers, interactive artists, instrument builders and synth experimenters around the world.
We are launching t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ five types of sensor (see our Stretch Goals below):
TRILL BAR, a slider that can sense up to five touch points
TRILL SQUARE, a touch pad that senses two axes of movement
TRILL CRAFT, a 30-channel breakout board that lets you make your own touch interfaces out of anything conductive
See the stretch goals section below for TRILL HEX and TRILL RING.
Trill connects to lots of things
Working with Trill is easy. Trill sensors use an I2C connection which means they can be connected to a variety of popular maker boards. We include a library and examples for Bela, Arduino and Raspberry Pi that give you everything you need to get started.
Create sophisticated interfaces
Each sensor has a configurable I2C address that can be set via solder bridges on the back so you can connect multiple Trill sensors together and create complex touch interfaces. Sensing through thin surfaces like vinyl is also possible, allowing you to embed and hide the sensors within your custom interface.
Cut sensors to size
You can also cut the sensors down to size if you have a specific application that requires a different shape sensor.
Turn anything into a sensor
TRILL CRAFT allows you to turn anything that conducts electricity into a sensor: you can make sliders or buttons out of copper tape, conductive paint, e-textiles and many other materials such as water, metals and even fruit.
Trill sensors can be used to create all kinds of wonderful interactive devices and interfaces. Over the course of the Kickstarter campaign we will be releasing detailed posts and tutorials that explain how each of these projects were built – stay tuned!
Sonic Circuit Sculpture by Helen Leigh
Helen Leigh has created a family of sonic circuit sculptures that use Trill Craft in combination with Bela Mini to create a beautiful series of interactive sound installations. Read more about this project on our blog: https://blog.bela.io/2019/09/19/trill-helen-leigh-craft-circuit-sculpture/
Euro-Trill Modular Synth
The Trill sensors are the perfect tools for building synthesisers and electronic musical instruments. At Bela we have created a number of instruments with these sensors already. Below is a modular synth that we created with all three types of Trill sensor and our DIY Eurorack module Pepper. Read more about this project on our blog: https://blog.bela.io/2019/09/27/euro-trill-modular-eurorack/
Visualising Trill sensors in the Bela IDE
The Trill sensors ship with libraries and examples for a variety of popular maker boards like Arduino and Raspberry Pi, but the perfect partner for the Trill sensors is our own maker platform, Bela.
Granulator with Trill Bar and Trill Square
Brass instrument with Trill Craft
Trill sensors are designed by the team behind Bela, the open-source maker platform for ultra-low latency audio and sensors. Like Bela, the Trill sensors are open-source hardware letting you edit and remix our designs.
Bela launched on Kickstarter in 2016, and empowers makers, designers and musicians to create beautifully responsive instruments and other interactive projects. Our speciality is music: we understand the specific demands of musicians, and we design high quality products that work for them but are also perfect for many other types of product design and making.
Trill sensors use capacitive sensing to track finger position responsively and with high resolution. Each sensor features a microcontroller containing high-resolution analog hardware and custom firmware.
We have now (10th October) unlocked our first two stretch goals, Trill Hex and Trill Ring.
Backers are now able to choose from five Trill sensors for their rewards: Trill Bar, Square, Craft, Hex or Ring (we'll send you a survey after the campaign to get your choices).
Trill Hex has now been reached as a stretch goal and backers will be able to additionally choose this sensor at the end of the campaign! Trill Hex is a hexagonal, 2-axis x/y sensor. Perfect for tessellation. Trill Hex will make building complex touch interfaces like isomorphic keyboards easier than ever before.
Trill Ring, a one-axis circular slider that can also detect up to 5 simultaneous touches. Perfect for controlling volume, filters and more. This stretch goal was unlocked at £18k.
Already a backer? Don't worry, you don't need to choose your rewards now - we'll send you a survey when the campaign ends to get your final choices. In the meantime, you can increase your pledge at any time to take advantage of these additional options as they become available (£11-£14 per sensor depending on your reward, check your reward for details).
Trill comes from the creators of Bela, the open source maker platform for audio and sensor processing, and TouchKeys, which brings expressive multi-touch sensing to the piano keyboard. Both projects were launched with successful Kickstarter campaigns.
- Bela launched on Kickstarter in 2016 and now sells boards worldwide
- Bela empowers makers, designers, artists and musicians to create beautifully responsive interactive systems
- Global community of makers in the thousands sharing projects on blog.bela.io
- Intuitive toolchain for creating complex interactive sound projects
- TouchKeys launched on Kickstarter in 2013
- Sells finished keyboards and DIY overlays at http://touchkeys.co.uk/
- Capacitive touch overlay for any piano keyboard
All of our activities as a company are about supporting makers and giving them the best creative tools to work with. As a group we understand musicians' needs intimately and make high quality products that can meet their demanding requirements.
Kickstarter is our platform of choice for launching new products – we know it well and believe it is the ideal way to reach out to our community and the wider world of makers before bringing a product to the market.
Risks and challenges
We are an experienced team that has successfully delivered on two Kickstarter campaigns (Bela Platform 2016 and TouchKeys 2013). We have a proven track record of delivering our rewards in a timely manner and are confident we can do the same with this campaign. Within our team we have extensive experience in hardware and software development as well as existing relationships with trusted manufacturers and part suppliers.
The final hardware designs of the Trill sensors have been thoroughly tested going out to numerous beta testers in the last few months who have helped to iron out any issues in the design and software support. This means that we are ready to go into production as soon as the campaign ends.
As with any hardware project, delays could occur due to disruption further up the supply chain. To mitigate this risk as much as possible we are using trusted suppliers and manufacturers that we have worked with many times before. We also have alternative manufacturing options should there be an issue with our primary manufacturer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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