Capacitive touch glass

Okay, so let me describe my project first and then I will finish with my question. So I want to build a wall in my house made of glass blocks (these guys http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2272/2076317885_8c6108323d.jpg). These blocks will have multicolored LEDs embedded in the mortar or in some other way made so that they can light up the blocks. The blocks themselves can be touched as if they were buttons and this will interact with the LEDs. So basically I want each block (on each face of the wall) to be a capacitive sensor that I can use to program games or light shows on the wall. For games, one player would stand on either side of the wall and touch the blocks on their turn.

So, my question is, what techniques if any are there to make glass capacitive, while remaining clear. I don't need any kind of precision, the entire block is considered one button. Ideally, one would not notice anything special about the blocks. I have read that Apple uses Indium Tin Oxide on their products, but that seems infeasible for a home project. Are their simpler solutions or maybe capacitive transparent adhesives or films I can purchase?

If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Any other comments about the project are welcome as well.

Hey, i'd use the capsense library to do the trick... cheers

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the capsense library necessitate the use of foil and the touch sensor is limited to the surface area of the foil or at least some close proximity to it? It would ruin the effect of the wall if there were visible pieces of foil on either side of either block. What I am looking for is some sort of clear capacitive touch film I can adhere to each side of the block.

Also, with the method you depict, I would need to place the leds and foil sensor inside of the block, which cannot be done, I believe the blocks are solid.

Clear touch films are available. Just google for it. I don't know what they cost though.

first, the foil is located behind the LED, and the LED is located behind the blocks (sorry for precise picture)...
and the foil doesn't have to be so big... theoretically it could be the size of the LED (although you just have to setup it properly).

And if you find cheap clear touch sensors, please post a link....

I would approach this using a different method, using infra red LEDs, like this

or this

Lakes:
I would approach this using a different method, using infra red LEDs, like this
- YouTube
or this
Arduino IR Range Sensor Project Example - YouTube

quite good solution, how didn't i think of that, and the cheapest also

I like the infrared idea, but it still requires me to embed the sensors in the glass blocks, which I don't think is possible. I will have to give this method more thought, but it seems tough to use one for each side of every block.

you could stuff the electronics (LED and 2 IR sensors) in a material that connects the bricks…
and also you could place 2 IR sensors, one for each side…

Mount the receiver at the back of the block mount the infrared leds at the front.

The receiver is "looking" through the glass block, so any variation in illumination can be detected.

Its possible to drill glass, but you would have to careful if you want to mount the LEDs that way.

Another way would be to mount the LEDs at the front in Plexiglas so that it edge lit.

These solutions still preclude the transparency of the blocks being preserved from both sides. Perhaps I could embed the sensors on the sides of the blocks and angles them towards the center of either side.

P.S. I am new to this forum, how are you guys inserting drawings. Is there a tool for that on the posting UI or are you just exporting an image from something else?

shakalandro:
These solutions still preclude the transparency of the blocks being preserved from both sides. Perhaps I could embed the sensors on the sides of the blocks and angles them towards the center of either side.

P.S. I am new to this forum, how are you guys inserting drawings. Is there a tool for that on the posting UI or are you just exporting an image from something else?

Yup, mount them on the sides.
For images, I use http://imgur.com/, you just drag and drop your images onto the webpage, upload and it will give you the proper format {BBCode (message boards & forums)] link (look for the "img" tags) to insert in forums like this.

Here's more polished version of the wall
enjoy...