UltraSense Systems launches new touch user interface

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UltraSense Systems has launched an ultrasound sensor-on-chip that it says enables touch sensing through a range of materials, including metal, glass, wood, ceramic and plastic.

The company says these properties open up the possibility of cost-effectively turning any surface into a virtual button or gesture.

Mo Maghsoudnia, founder and CEO, Ultrasense Systems, commented, “We have seen a shift in the way we interact with our devices, where digital has replaced mechanical, and the move to virtual buttons and surface gestures is accelerating. The use of ultrasound in touch user interfaces has not been implemented in such a novel way until now. Our family of TouchPoint ultrasound sensor solutions enable new use cases that allow OEMs to bring a differentiated user experience with a wider variety of touch and gesture functions under virtually any material and material thickness.”

Richard Wawrzyniak, principal market analyst for ASIC & SoC at Semico Research, added, “The UltraSense TouchPoint ultrasound sensor is a unique and innovative addition to the list of solutions for user interface capabilities. This gives industrial designers a really useful option to differentiate their products while improving performance without adding to clutter. Needless to say, the ‘cool’ factor in products that employ this technology is going to be very high. Semico thinks this product is going to very successful as designers discover what they can do with it.”

UltraSense says its family of TouchPoint solutions offer the possibility of removing mechanical buttons from smartphones, as well as seamlessly building in gaming buttons and photo-taking keys into the sides of smartphones. The company says its sensors could also be used to create virtual buttons in cars, including in the center of the steering wheel center and door panels.