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Optical sensors provide touchless gesture control

26 Dec 2014

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ams has introduced its latest line-up of intelligent sensors that feature six key sensing functions such as gesture detection and Mobeam barcode emulation. According to the company, the TMG399x devices are aimed at touchless gesture control and display management in smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics.

Advanced gesture-recognition software developed by ams supports a range of gestures, enabling touchless control for consumer devices. Gesture detection utilises four directional photodiodes to sense reflected IR energy, then converts this data into physical motion information including: velocity, direction and distance. As sensors continue to proliferate in today's mobile devices, support for sensor hub architectures has become an important requirement to enable optimum system performance.

The TMG399x gesture software supports optimised Android drivers, and a fully-qualified gesture library is available for the Qualcomm ADSP sensor core on the Snapdragon 6xx and 8xx processor family for four-direction gesture, plus ALS, proximity and all the other standard features. The ams gesture software offers expanded capability to include support for eight-direction gesture, push button and taps, and work is in-progress to support other industry-leading third-party sensor hub devices, said the company.

The gesture engine features automatic ambient light subtraction, crosstalk cancelation, dual 8bit data converters, power saving inter-conversion delay, 32-dataset FIFO and interrupt driven I2C communication. It accommodates a range of gesture-detection requirements, from simple North-South-East-West gestures to more complex gestures including simulated button pushing and taps. Power consumption and noise are minimised with adjustable IR LED timing and optimised gesture algorithms.

The TMG399x family also integrates industry-leading colour sensors from ams, the company added. Accurate colour management and light intensity measurements are critical parameters for display management in portable devices operating under a wide range of light sources, including fluorescent, incandescent and sunlight. Proximity detection, composed of the IR LED and sensor, is optimised for object detection within 100mm and can be used to simplify a product's user interface such as intelligent on/off control of smartphone touchscreens. The proximity detection is factory-calibrated to a distance of 100mm, eliminating the need for OEMs to perform production-line calibration, and simplifying the end-product manufacturing.

TMG399x block diagram

The TMG399x Mobeam barcode emulation enhances the e-commerce capabilities of any mobile device by enabling smartphones to transmit barcodes to any 1D scanner at retail points-of-sale (POS) terminals. IRBeam functionality allows the device to emulate other optical transmitters or provide advanced signaling using the internal IR LED. A versatile state machine along with 128 bytes of RAM allows for a variety of optical protocols to be generated.

The TMG3993 and TMG3992 are in volume production. ams offers an evaluation kit for the TMG399x.




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