Chirp launches sonar ToF gesture IC

March 14, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Ultrasonic gesture recognition company Chirp Microsystems Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.) has launched its first product a time-of-flight sensor based on the send and return of ultrasound waves.

The company, founded in 2013, is now offering an ultrasonic sensing development platform for wearables that can position objects and microgestures to 1mm accuracy. The system works by driving an array of silicon membranes in the MEMS device to emit an ultrasonic wave from the device and then uses the same membranes in a microphone mode – to detect the return signal. The use of time-of-flight information from the array of sensors allows calculation of the distance and direction and the build-up a 3D depth map in front of the sensor.

It is not clear how sonar compares with IR time-of-flight in terms of power consumption or range?

The Chirp ToF sensor can also be used for virtual reality/augmented reality and for touchless control on a smartwatch.

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