Art installation with touch sensitive objects

This is both my first post here and my first project with Arduino - so please be understanding :wink: My idea sounds simple, but so far none of my friends who know how to play with Arduino have given me a clear answer on how to tackle this idea. So, maybe one of you could help me! Below is a brief description of my idea, and at the end a detailed one.

Imagine several objects, such as a bottle cap, an eraser, and, say, a pin. They are lying on a table. When someone picks them up / touches them - a video about the object starts. Someone picks up the cap - the cap video starts. When someone picks up a pencil eraser, the eraser video starts. In a nutshell, that's it.

I first thought to use some TTP223B sensors, but then someone told me that a better solution would be to use Pressure-Sensitive Conductive Sheet Adafruit 1361. Today someone else told me that this sheet would not handle the job. So I am lost. I would appreciate any information/tutorials (preferably with code) to show me how I can deal with this problem. And one more thing, the point is that these objects are not directly connected by any cables.

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My original idea is more complicated. If anyone is interested I will describe it below. So I am an art student, and last semester I created a project about objects I found in my city. Items such as caps, keys, cans, etc. When I found an item, I took some pictures of it, and then at home, I described it in detail. Finally, I created a map of these found objects using google maps. So I created markers indicating where I found each item, and I attached pictures and descriptions of my items to these markers.

This semester I want to continue my project, and my Idea is to create an art installation from my found objects in some gallery space. The idea is simple. The objects lie on the floor. On the wall is a projection with my map. When someone touches/picks up an object the map zooms in on where it was found and shows a description and photos of that object. The guys in my studies told me that connecting Arduino to Google maps code is too difficult (or any other map system), so we decided to create a video animation with this "zooming" effect.

If anyone would like to work with me on this project, I would be very grateful.

a car key would probably conduct or modify an electromagnetic field, but a cork (a real one, bark of the cork oak tree) won't be so conductive

are you willing to modify your original object so that when it lies on the floor a contact is established and when you pick up the object the contact is lost and that would be your triggering event.

conductive paint could be explored

if you can't modify the object, then the sensor will need to be able to detect a specific feature of that object (like weight -> build a little scale).

if the object is to be put back exactly in the same place on the floor

  • it could be hiding a photo sensitive detector (photodiode or the likes) and so when you pick it up, the photo sensitive detector will be lit and you know the object has been taken.
  • the object could also be in the middle of an IR beam and when you pick it up the beam is no longer interrupted

Something like a Pololu Digital Distance Sensor 5cm. You would need a false floor under the objects with holes for the sensors. When the object is picked up the sensor could detect it.