Simplified design-in of 3D gesture recognition in embedded devices

January 21, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Microchip’s MGC3030 is the second member of the GestIC family; it offers simplified user-interface options in an SSOP28 package. Always-on gesture sensing can be added to power-constrained applications; the IC is intended for cost-sensitive applications including toys, audio and lighting

The MGC3030 3D gesture controller features simplified user-interface options focused on gesture detection, enabling true one-step design-in of 3D gesture recognition in consumer and embedded devices. Housed in an easy-to-manufacture SSOP28 package, the MGC3030 offers configurable general-purpose IO ports that enable host MCU/processor-free usage; it is supported by a free GUI and on-chip software library of gesture features.

Simplified gesture-detection integration is assisted by Microchip’s free, downloadable AUREA Graphical User Interface (GUI) and configurable general-purpose IO ports. An on-chip 32-bit digital signal processor executes real-time gesture processing, eliminating the need for external cameras or controllers for host processing, and allowing for faster and more natural user interaction with devices.

MGC3030 uses the GestIC family development tools, including the Colibri Gesture Suite, an on-chip software library of sophisticated gesture features. Intuitive and natural movements of the human hand are recognised, making the operation of a device functional, intuitive and fun. Without the need to touch the device, features such as Flick Gestures, the Air Wheel or proximity detection perform commands such as changing audio tracks, adjusting volume control or backlighting, as well as many other commands. All gestures are processed on-chip, allowing manufacturers to realise powerful user interfaces with very low development effort.

Unique to GestIC technology, the programmable Auto Wake-Up On Approach feature begins operating in the range of 100 µW power consumption, enabling always-on gesture sensing in power-constrained applications. If user interaction is detected, the system automatically switches into full sensing mode and alternates back to auto wake-up mode once the user leaves the sensing area. These combined features and capabilities provide designers with the ability to quickly integrate gesture-detection features at price points that are ideal for high-volume devices.

Microchip’s Woodstar MGC3030 Development Kit (DM160226) is priced at $139. The kit includes the AUREA Graphical User Interface, the central tool to configure the MGC3030, and the Colibri Suite to meet the needs of any design. AUREA is