Elliptic Labs Ultrasound Chip Brings Gesture Control For Mobiles - Android SDK Released

Elliptic Labs, a startup from Norway, has made it possible to have gesture control on smartphones possible. It has developed an ultrasound chip that enables mobiles and tablets to be gesture-controlled and we can expect these devices to go into production as early as next year, because the company is already discussing the matter with Asian handset makers. So, when this chip gets embedded into our devices, it will use sound waves to interpret hand movements. This gesture control mechanism can then be used to identify our gestures from up to a metre away. Interestingly, the sensor enables accurate time-of-flight measurement and distributed sensing (capturing movement from multiple angles) for true 3D interaction above, below and to the side of the screen at 180 degrees.

The user interface designer for Elliptic Labs, Erik Forsstorm told BBC News that the user needs to learn the exact spot to gesture to instead of having a large interactive space around the device. Elliptic Labs, which claims itself to be a leader in ultrasonic touchless gesturing has also recently launched the first SDK for touchless gesturing on Android smartphones using ultrasound. Laila Danielsen, CEO, Elliptic Labs sais, "Our technology is also great for playing games on smartphones." So, you can imagine playing Fruit Ninja in a way that you feel like you are cutting the fruits mid-air. Equipped with tiny microphones, transducers, and Elliptic Labs software, Android smartphone OEM’s can now use the ultrasound spectrum (above 20kHz) to enable touchless gesturing.


Apart from this, the ability to separate the "first returning" echoes from other, echoes arriving later, means that Elliptic Labs' touchless gesturing technology can easily separate foreground from background. This is essential both, for separating finger motion from wrist, and hand motion from movements or reflections from the body. This prevents unwanted and accidental gestures from being recognized. If we compare this with what the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone has, since it uses an infrared sensor that can only interpret hand movements within a very small zone, the ultra-sound mechanism gets an upper hand.

This ultrasound based gesture control technology was showcased at the Japanese tech show CEATEC 2013 between 1-5 October. We are eager to see the technology reaching masses through interesting products in coming days.


  • Aadit Kapoor
    Aadit Kapoor

    The iPhone 5S isn’t just supposed to be “the most amazing iPhone yet.” It’s not “the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever.” No, Apple says the 5S is “the most forward-thinking iPhone yet” and “the best smartphone in the world.”
    But the screen didn’t get bigger, and the design hasn’t changed. Apple’s mid-cycle S updates are always about the little things: faster internals, a better camera, more memory. But this year little things have turned into big things: there’s upgraded 64-bit A7 processor and a hidden fingerprint reader, a better camera and a much-improved new flash. Add those to the new, wholly redesigned iOS 7 software, and Apple believes it has a phone that’s much more than just a refresh. For $199 plus a two-year contract, the 5S is Apple at its swaggering best, believing it can win the spec-sheet arms race while still offering a device anyone and everyone can use.

    But can better specs really make a better phone, despite what Apple’s told us all these years? Is this forward-thinking

    Reply if you like the new iphone 5s.

You are reading an archived discussion.

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