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Sensor touts novel electrode for lower cost

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:electric potential sensor? remote sensing?

Plessey Semiconductors Ltd has released the PS25451 sensor for remote sensing in high volume consumer markets. The ultra-high impedance, non-contact, solid state electric potential sensor is designed with a novel electrode. This electrode takes the place of the titanium dioxide electrode used by the company's EPIC sensor technology for high-end medical applications. Thus, the sensor is suited for low cost consumer and security applications, such as proximity switching of lighting, gesture-based remote control of interactive toys, computer games, TVs, monitors, other appliances and presence detection for security/alarm systems.

The EPIC sensor works by measuring tiny changes in an electric field even at a distance and through clothing, in the same way a magnetometer detects changes in a magnetic field. This enables it to be used for security motion sensors and non-contact electrical switches as well as medical applications detecting heart beats, nerve and muscle activity either by dry contact (i.e. no gels required) or contactless.

EPIC sensors are already in commercial production by Plessey Semiconductors. By adjusting the gain and bandwidth amplification circuitry, the sensors can be tuned for detection at a distance as required. Production pricing for the PS25451 is less than $1 in volumes above 50,000. It is supplied in a custom 3D package with exposed pins for surface mount assembly and measures 10mm x 10mm x 2mm, which is also pin compatible with the existing PS25401 EPIC sensor.

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