Elliptic Commercialises Ultrasound Gesture Control
Elliptic Labs, working with Murata, has commercialised ultrasound technology to implement 180 degree field-of-view, gesture recognition with a range of up to three feet.
The company, based in Norway and Palo Alto, is talking to Asian device makers about incorporating the technology in commercial portable devices next year.
The technology works via ultrasound signals sent through the air from speakers integrated in smart phones and tablets.
The signals bounce against your hand and are recorded by microphones also integrated in the devices.
The technology recognises your hand gestures and uses them to move objects on a screen, very similar to how bats use echolocation to navigate.
A benefit is the 180 degree field of view. Microphones and transmitters sense movement in front of a screen and to the sides, enabling an interaction zone extending over the screen and beyond the sides.
The technology enables gesturing both from up to three feet away and very close to the screen.
Distributed sensing enables motion capture of your hand from multiple angles, avoiding occlusion of objects or parts of an object. It makes for robust and accurate positioning by giving sufficient sensor baselines.
The sensors used are MEMS microphones, which can also double up and be used for speech enhancement and recognition.
The ability to separate the “first returning” echoes from other echoes arriving later, means the technology can separate foreground from background – essential both, for separating finger motion from wrist, and hand motion from movements or reflections from the body. This prevents unwanted and accidental gestures from being recognized.