Optical sensor integrates touchless gesture detection and Mobeam technology

December 12, 2014 OpenSystems Media

ams, the company formerly known as Austria Micro Systems, recently released a family of intelligent sensors that integrate six key sensing functions, including gesture detection and Mobeam barcode emulation. The TMG399x product family is suited for touchless gesture control and display management in smartphones, tablets, and similar consumer electronics.

I have to admit I had to do a little research on Mobeam to bring myself up to speed. Mobeam is technology that’s built into a host of scanning devices, including Samsung’s Galaxy S4, S5, and Note 3 (what, you thought those phones were for talking or texting?).

Mobeam shoots beams of light that mimic the patterns of a given barcode, thereby allowing all scanners to “read” the on-screen barcodes. Mobeam’s Beep’nGo app makes the technology easy enough for any consumer to use.

So getting back to ams, the advanced gesture-recognition software the company developed supports an array of gestures, enabling touchless control for consumer devices. Gesture detection uses four directional photodiodes to sense reflected IR energy, then converts this data into physical motion information including velocity, direction, and distance. ams claims that 40 percent of all sensors in 2017 will employ gesture recognition in some fashion.

The TMG399x gesture software currently supports optimized 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 part consumes just 4 mA in active mode, but because they device is on in that mode for very short periods, consumption is really held to a minimum. An evaluation kit is available to ease design.

Rich Nass, Embedded Computing Brand Director
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