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Hillcrest unveils sensor hubs for Android 4.3

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:sensor hub? Android? MCU? Jelly Bean?

Hillcrest Laboratories Inc. has released its first sensor hub geared for Android running on ARM. The SH-1 is compatible with the Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean" OS and is available either as software-only or pre-integrated with an Amtel low-power MCU.

A sensor hub off-loads the application processor from managing all the sensors studding a modern smartphone, tablet, laptop, wearable device or Internet of Things (IoT) device. Microsoft, for instance (following Apple's lead as does Samsung and most other smartphone and tablet makers) mandated that Window 8 developers include a full complement of inertial sensors. A sensor hub helps manage them by performing the nine-axis sensor fusion across three triple-axis MEMS inertial sensorsaccelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometerthereby freeing up the application processor to be more responsive to the user.

Hillcrest unveils sensor hubs for Android 4.3

In addition to the sensor fusion performed by all sensor hubs, the SH-1 also performs gesture recognition from its Freespace MotionElements library of commonly used gestures. For instance, OEMs can allow their users to browse large libraries of images or music albums by tilting the device so the "covers" smoothly flow by at a speed determined by the inclination. The SH-1 also provides activity tracking and "context awareness" for always-on functionssuch as ascertaining when users have the device in their pocketso the application processor can be turned off to conserve battery life while waiting for the context to change.

Hillcrest licenses the SR-1 software directly to OEMs, who can then implement it on their own ARM MCUs, or they can get it already preconfigured for a low-power Atmel MCU.

Hillcrest's SR-1 also comes with optimised drivers for all the popular brands of MEMS inertial, magnetic and environmental sensors. Companies that have already licensed Hillcrest's motion-processing technologies include Eastman Kodak, Intel, LG Electronics, Logitech, Roku, SMK Electronics, Sony, TCL Multimedia and Universal Electronics (UEI).

- R. Colin Johnson
??EE Times

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