Embed UltraSense Sensors into Just About Anything

December 20, 2019 Rich Nass

UltraSense, a company that is just emerging from stealth mode, is launching a touch user interface that can be embedded into just about any material, including plastic, metal, glass, and wood. The obvious immediate applications are smart phones, automotive,white goods, and other consumer devices.

The TouchPoint sensor, which is now sampling, measures 1.4x2.4x0.49 mm, and is immune to sensing through moisture, dirt, oils, and lotions. Unlike competing technologies, including strain gauge, force touch, and surface acoustic wave solutions that have industrial and mechanical design, this sensor offers a very simple integration process and a production calibration that occurs in seconds.

With this technology, OEMs can remove mechanical buttons from their systems. In a handset or other consumer devices, one-hand operation is more feasible. In an automotive application, virtual buttons can be embedded into the steering wheel and door panels with a sleek look.

The TouchPoint family of sensors consume microamps of current in always-on mode and can operate independently of a product’s host processor with all the algorithm processing embedded in the sensor. Hence, it can be used as a standalone power button using wake-on-touch sensing.

For applications where low power consumption is not required, sensors can include large drivers with higher operating voltages to transmit the ultrasound beam through very thick materials like solid metals. The transducer can also be shut off and the sensor used to drive piezo materials to cost-effectively support large touch sensing areas, like a mousepad in a laptop or trackpad in an automobile center console.

For more information, visit www.ultrasensesys.com/

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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