'Proximity' capacitive touch sensors

Hey I am working on a project for school:

I am integrating a joystick with a mouse, the click buttons will have sensor pads underneath which will determine the X and Y axis.

I need to know how I can sense proximity of a finger (distance of about 4cm) from those pads.

I've looked at the capSense() library and was worried about interference and instability in the sensor readings. Having the two sensors close to each other can be a problem too.

I dont have much budget, do you guys think I can pull this off? Is there a trusty sensor I can buy to pull this off?


4cm between your finger and the pad is a HUGE resistance and a HUGE capacitance. Good Luck with that.

Instability in readings are the major issue but you should be able to sort that in code. I was experimenting with sensing my proximity to an aluminium foil sensor (maybe 100m square) up to a few meters. It wasn't very accurate as everything affected the readings but it was interesting.

Try the capsense examples and use some very large resistors and see what you get - you don't really need a budget for that - just some aluminium foil and some resistors.