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3D gesture recognition sheds "child's play" image

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D gesture recognition? MEMS sensor? smartphone interfaces?

InvenSense's gyroscopes and accelerometer/gyroscope combo chips embed a motion processor to execute the complex sensor fusion algorithms necessary to recognize a user's gestures, offloading the task from the application processor. The company plans to combine an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer (e-compass) on a single die by next year.

The InvenSense Motion Processing Library turned up at the International Consumer Electronics Show in both the first television remote control to harness 3D gesture recognition and the first smartphone to apply it for primary phone functions (such as answering the phone merely by lifting it to the ear). Both are LG Electronics products. The Magic Motion remote is used with LG's Infinia line of 3D TVs. LG's 9.2mm-wide Optimus Black smartphone, touted as the slimmest available smartphone, recognizes several unique gesture-based commands.

Other MEMS chipmakers have likewise incorporated gesture recognition algorithms into their accelerometers and gyroscopes. Kionix Inc., for example, offers dozens of models with built-in gesture-recognition algorithms, and its Gesture Designer software development suite lets OEMs design their own gesture-based controls.

"The TV remote-control guys are making a big push to bring gesture recognition into its own, requiring very sophisticated use of motion," said Kionix CEO Greg Galvin. "The holy grail here is the convergence of audio-visual input into the TV, allowing you to change channels, download music, look at your library of photos, do texting or surf the Internet, all with a single controller."

Running apps and navigating Web content on an IPTV require a remote control that is capable of mouse-like accuracy for both point-and-click and gesture-based control. "For these apps, you need MEMS," Galvin said.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times

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