electronica 2012: Microchip unveils 3D gesture control technology

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Microchip is demonstrating for the first time at electronica a new gesture based, non contact user interface which it claims has the lowest power consumption of any 3D sensing technology.

Dubbed GestIC, the platform has been implemented in an electrical field based, configurable 3D gesture controller, the MGC3130, which has a power consumption of 150microwatts in its active sensing state. The technology is based on an on chip library, called the Colibri Suite, of intuitive and natural human gestures. Microchip says designers can use the library to get to market quickly and reduce development risks by matching their system commands to the company's set of predetermined and proven gestures. Furthermore, the chip is said to provide developers the flexibility to use pre-filtered electrode signals for additional functionality in their applications. GestIC technology utilises thin sensing electrodes made of any conductive material, such as pcb traces or a touch sensor's Indium Tin Oxide coating, to enable invisible integration behind the device's housing. "This allows for visually appealing industrial designs at very low total system costs," said the company in a statement. "Additionally, the technology provides 100% surface coverage, eliminating angle of view blind spots found in other technologies. With its range of configurable, smart features, the MGC3130 enables the next breakthrough in human machine interface design across various industries." Example applications for the technology include keyboards that take advantage of the advanced interface capabilities in the new Windows 8 operating system, using hovering motions and free space gesture controls, instead of reaching over to touch a screen.