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Description: The ZX Distance and Gesture Sensor is a touchless sensor that is capable of looking for simple gestures. Developed in conjunction with XYZ Interactive, the sensor uses their GestureSense® technology to recognize the distance of an object away from the sensor up to about 12 inches (30cm, referred to as the “Z” axis) and the location of the object from side to side across the sensor in about a 6-inch (15cm) span, referred to as the “X” axis. You will be able to use I2C or UART to communicate with the ZX Sensor via a microcontroller or computer.

The ZX Sensor works by bouncing infrared (IR) beams of light from the two LEDs on either side off of an object above the sensor. The bounced light returns to the receiver in the center of the sensor, and a microcontroller on the back of the sensor interprets the data. With these IR pieces you will easily be able to ascertain both the Z axis and the X axis of an object (hence the name). In addition to providing Z and X axis data about an object, the ZX Sensor is capable of detecting simple gestures. We have also clearly labeled all the pin outs on the board, as well as signifying if they are needed in I2C or UART communication.

Get started with the ZX Sensor Guide


  • Operating Voltage: 3.3V–5V
  • Z-Axis Recognition Range: 12 inches (~30cm)
  • X-Axis Recognition Range: 6 inches (~15cm)
  • 4 Supported Gesture Commands
  • I2C or UART Communication
  • SMD Components and Compact Design


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Related Tutorials

ZX Distance and Gesture Sensor SMD Hookup Guide

June 1, 2017

How to connect and use the SparkFun ZX Distance and Gesture Sensor with an Arduino.

Support Tips

I2C addresses

Even though the back of the board is marked Open = 0x20 and Closed = 0x22, Arduino will see open as 0x10 and closed as 0x11.

I2C Communications Error

If you see this error output using the I2C_ZX_Demo.ino code:

SparkFun/GestureSense - I2C ZX Demo
ZX Sensor initialization complete
Error reading model version number
Model version needs to be 1 to work with this library. Stopping.

Make sure that you are connected to the I2C pins correctly. If you have any loose connections, you will have issues communicating with the sensor through I2C. If you are using an Arduino Mega, make sure that you are connecting to the correct I2C pins .