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Plessey announces latest version of EPIC sensor

Plessey announces latest version of EPIC sensor

Plessey Semiconductors has released the latest version its Electric Potential Integrated Circuit (EPIC) sensor specifically tailored to detect movement. According to Plessey, the new version, the PS25401, has been optimised for security, switching and gaming applications.

Because the sensor has been engineered for higher volume applications, it enables volume prices of around $1.

Derek Rye, Plessey marketing director, said: "We have been inundated with demand for samples of the EPIC sensor and have had our first design wins in ecg products for the health monitoring markets. We have also been working with a number of companies on movement sensing and gesture recognition applications. We believe we have an opportunity for some early revenue based on designs for proximity non touch switches for consumer products."

Dr Keith Strickland, Plessey technology director, added: "We have optimised the base layout of the EPIC sensor chip such that discrete movements of the human body can be detected, with a range of up to several metres. For example, the sensor can be configured to detect the proximity of a hand or to detect specific hand motions depending on the chip variant and the appropriate selection of circuit components external to the EPIC sensor. Whilst these first applications for individual sensors are quite simple, they are paving the way for the next generation of sensor array devices that will change the way we address more sophisticated applications like writing on tablets and smart phones, the remote control of televisions and controller-less gaming applications."

By detecting changes in the electric field, the EPIC sensor is designed to provide an output to a relay to act as a simple non touch electric switch. It can be used in both proximity mode or to detect specific kinds of movement as a limited gesture recognition device. As the sensor doesn't need line of sight and can detect movement through walls, it can also be used to replace, or as an adjunct to, a passive infrared sensor in applications such as security motion detectors.

Chris Shaw

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