Partnership aims to deliver touchless gesture control for consumer devices

November 22, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Wolfson Microelectronics, fabless mixed-signal device and audio solutions maker, and Elliptic Labs, a company that works in the field of ultrasonic touchless gesturing for consumer electronic devices, have announced a partnership to use Elliptic Labs’ ultrasonic gesture control solution with Wolfson’s Audio Digital Signal Processor (ADSP) platform.

This combined technology makes ‘always on’ ultrasonic, low power touchless gesture control a reality for consumer electronics devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as for in-car infotainment.

Using sound waves to interpret hand movements, Elliptic Labs’ solution is claims to be the only technology integrated into portable devices that can deliver 3D gesture control with a 180-degree field of view at all sides of the device. It can identify near-field and mid-air gestures with focus up to 50 cm. Wolfson’s ultra-low power ADSP platform enables the electronic device to be ‘always on and always looking’ for gestures without any significant drain on battery life.

Wolfson’s ADSP family of Audio Hubs provides high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and a range of processing options, including up to 600 MIPS of processing power which enables superior audio quality, as well as providing an ultra-low power processing platform for other real-world interfaces requiring accurate analogue-to-digital conversion and advanced DSP. The ADSP family is platform agnostic and has the ability to run Wolfson's suite of sound enhancing and noise reduction software, customers' own software or third party software, such as Elliptic Labs’ ultrasonic gesture control solution, enabling mobile device manufacturers to differentiate their product in the marketplace, while also optimising battery life.

Wolfson believes that, along with voice control, touchless gesture control is becoming one of the next generation human-machine interfaces for mobile and wearable devices. The form-factors and use cases of new devices increasingly make touch control impractical. The barrier to this new technology being more widely adopted has, Wolfson says, been power consumption; the company's technology addresses this. Wolfson Microelectronics plc:

Wolfson Microelectronics;

Elliptic Labs;