Optical sensors for UV protection and gesture recognition

January 20, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Silicon Labs’s latest optical sensors can be used to protect consumers from excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and to develop touchless user interfaces based on high-performance proximity sensing and gesture recognition.

Si1133/53 sensors provide accurate measurement of ultraviolet radiation and improved daylight performance and range for proximity sensing, to add accurate UV index measurement capabilities to sports equipment and outdoor lifestyle products. The Si1153 ambient light sensor is optimised for operation in bright daylight conditions and extended range, allowing it to be used for gesture control and proximity detection applications in outdoor environments.

Products equipped with the Si1133 sensor may help consumers to monitor their UV exposure and safely maximise their time spent outdoors. The Si1133 UV sensor provides an output, via its I ²C serial interface, that directly corresponds to the digital UV index defined by the World Health Organisation. The Si1133 device also senses ambient light levels, which allows for automatic brightness adjustment of associated output displays.

Features of the Si1153 include

- UV measurement accuracy: ±1.5 on the UV scale

- Ambient light sensing supporting < 100 mlx resolution and operation under dark glass

- Highly integrated solution reducing cost and complexity with on-chip dual 23-bit ADCs, DSP, and high-sensitivity visible light, UV and infrared (IR) photodiodes

- I ²C serial communications with up to 3.4 Mbps data rate

- Ultra-low power for longer battery life: 500 nA standby current

- 2 x 2 mm QFN package

The Si1153 sensor offers performance improvements for proximity sensing and gesture recognition in daylight conditions. Unlike sensors best suited to indoor environments, it can be used outdoors in high ambient light and over an extended range of up to 2m, for gesture-based operation of automotive infotainment systems, bicycle computers and other outdoor sports equipment, making it easier and safer for consumers to control electronic devices without taking their eyes off the road or tasks at hand. The sensors are also a good fit for ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, door entry systems, and other proximity sensing applications requiring both extended range and exceptional daylight performance.

Si1153 proximity sensor features include;