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Phidgets are a set of “plug and play” building blocks for “low cost” USB sensing and control from your PC.

All the USB complexity is taken care of by libraries. Applications can be developed quickly by programmers using their favorite language: C/C++, C#, Cocoa, Delphi, Flash AS3, Flex AS3, Java, LabVIEW, MATLAB, Max/MSP, MRS, Python, REALBasic, Visual Basic.NET, Visual Basic 6.0, Visual Basic for Applications, Visual Basic Script, and Visual C/C++/Borland.NET.

We will look into how this can be used in Processing.


To convey the input from the Phidget hardware to your Flash-project you need to install drivers and run a webservice. Download your flavor from here.

Run it, connect a phidget and watch what the webservice rads from it when you manipulate it.


The basic functions of all Phidgets is stored in a file that you need to download.

1.Make a folder to keep your phidget-related files in. This will contain files that you will re-use for phidget projects, not your Processing sketches.

2.Download phidget21.jar from - programming tab. Put it in your phidget folder.

Dealing with events

Since different Phidgets trigger stuff in different ways we need some code for each type of Phidget.

1.Download the Processing code for the phidgets Accelerometer, Encoder and Interface kit fromthis page. Put them in your phidget folder. For RFID reader-phidget copy and save the code beneath in the same folder with the name phidgetRFID.pde.

2.Create a new Processing sketch. Save the sketch, giving it a suitable name.

3.From the Sketch menu in Processing, select Add File … From the file selection dialogue, select phidget21.jar from your folder of phidget-related files. This will add a folder name code to your Processing sketch folder, and a copy phidget21.jar will appear there.

7.From the Sketch menu in Processing, select Add File … From the file selection dialogue, select the Processing code for your phidget, such as phidgetIK.pde. You will see a new file tab appear for your sketch with the Processing code, and the file will be copied to your sketch folder.

Finally, we get to do stuff

Now you can write code in the first blank tab of your project. Some simple examples to get started:

= Accelerometer =

phidgetAccelerometer accelerometer;
float accelValue;
void setup()
  // set screen size
  size(400, 300);
  // get phidget IK started and wait up to 1s for attach
  accelerometer = new phidgetAccelerometer();
  accelerometer.waitForAttachment( 1000 );
void draw()
  background( 200 );
  // show acceleration. our accelerometer has two axes -> getAcceleration(0) and getAcceleration(1).
  //accelerometer.getAccelerationMin( 0 ), accelerometer.getAccelerationMax( 0 )
    accelValue = accelerometer.getAcceleration(0);
    float x = map(accelValue, -1.0,1.0 ,0, 400 );
    accelValue = accelerometer.getAcceleration(1);
    float y =  map(accelValue, -1.0,0.8 ,0, 300 );
    ellipse( x, y, 10, 10 );
  if (keyPressed) {

= RFID reader =

RFIDPhidget rfid = null;
String tag = "";
void setup()
  // setup Reader
void draw()
    println("Hi mom!");
void close()
phidgets_for_processing.txt · Last modified: 2012/11/14 04:21 by