Advice needed: wireless tangibles for a tangible user interface

Hi lovely Arduino Community,

I would like some advice for the following project:

A few month ago we built a tabletop multitouch/tangible user interface for mixing music (see here:

Now is the plan to add some more advanced tangibles. The new tangibles should have different areas where they sense touch and depending on where they are touched, they should effect different parameters(here i made a small wired potentiometer prototype:

However the final tangibles should be wireless, so now is the question which wireless method to use? I'm fairly new to electronics/arduino and totally new to wireless connections, but I read a bit today and I think a good solution would be to have a Teensy + XBee in every tangible and connect them via WiFi to the computer (something like this:

Can somebody who know a little more about wireless connections confirm this "guess"?

Thanks in advance

As nobody replies, maybe I should be more specific on what I'm looking for.

The requirements are: - the distance between transmitter and receiver is less then 2m(6.5ft) - the transmitter should have a small power consumption (it's battery powered) - the transmitter should be as small as possible (it has to fit in a tangible) - there should be several (around 6) transmitter "talking" to one receiver

In my last post i wrote that I think that a teensy + XBee could be a good solution, but now I think it might be a little bit to much.

After reading these two Wireless 101's (, I think it might be better to use RF instead of the XBee.

The Nordic nRF24L01 ( looks very interesting, because it's small, low power, cheap and I can connect several transmitter to one receiver.

I also found the panStamp (, which would be very nice, because i wouldn't need an additional arduino/teensy in the tangible. But I can't find much information about it, if I can connect several transmitter to one receiver.

It would be really nice if somebody could point me in the "right direction".



I can confirm that multiple panStamps can communicate between them and also to a common receiver. panStamp follows a point-to-point and point-to-multipoint schema. Moreover, there is Lagarto, an open source automation platform which lets us do many things from the IP world, including sending data to multiple clouding data services (Cosm, ThingSpeak,, integration with OpenRemote, event management, web GUI, etc.

Did you take a look at panStamp's documentation wiki?

Hey estratos,

thank you very much for your reply. It's good to know that the panStamps can communicate between each other and I think it's a very interesting device which I'll keep in mind for future projects or maybe this project at a later point.

But after I read that the XBee can be used without an additional microcontroller to send "raw" data, I think I'll go for the XBee for now. As I'm totally new to wireless networks, I started to read the book "Building Wireless Sensor Networks" which explains how to use the XBee step by step. That's what I need for now and I couldn't find such step by step tutorials for the panStamps.

But like I said, after I have used the "easy" XBees and have a better understanding of wireless networks, maybe I can switch to something more advanced. But thanks for the advice and also the link to the wiki.

Using XBees without an external MCU may be not as simple as you expect. BTW, here is a starting tutorial for developing applications for panStamps:

Good luck with your projects!