The next interface: Electrical fields, MGC3130, and your hand (w/ Video)

Nov 14, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(Phys.org)—Microchip Technology has been working in the "non-contact user interface" space, which is translating into gesture control over your next computing device. The company is using electrical fields to sense hand movements. They have announced a controller that transmits an electrical signal and calculates the three-coordinate position of a hand based on the disturbances to the field the hand creates. Chandler, Arizona, based Microchip Technology, in looking at electrical fields to sense hand movements, issued this week's announcement of "the world's first electrical field based 3-D gesture controller, the MGC3130." The new controller offers low-power, hand position tracking with gesture recognition. Its two promoted advantages are low cost and low power.

According to the company, the MGC3130 can enable 3-D gesture recognition with as low as 150 microwatts in its active sensing state.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

MGC3130's design and configurable power modes represent the lowest power consumption of any 3-D sensing technology, says Microchip's creators, and up to 90 percent lower than camera-based gesture systems.

Microchip Technology is aiming its technology toward a range of devices; an easy vision of how it would translate into end use would be hand gesture recognition for smartphones and notebooks. The company said its chip will offer interaction with both mobile devices and consumer electronics. Its list of potential devices, for example, includes , remote controls and game controllers.

The company is offering a development kit. A gesture library was constructed using algorithms that learned from how different people make the same movements, to be applied toward device functions such as .point, click, zoom, or scroll. Ten gestures were programmed into the device with recognition based on Markov models. According to the company, "the chip provides developers the flexibility to utilize pre-filtered electrode signals for additional functionality in their applications."

Gesture-recognition technology is familiar to those using game consoles, but the concept of gesture recognition could now become more mainstream with users of desktops, laptops, or smartphones, making use of hovering motions. Microchip Technology said that it is already working with product manufacturers to implement user-input controls.

The MGC3130 will cost $2.26 each in high volumes and volume production is expected in April 2013.

Explore further: Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

More information: www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/Devices.aspx?dDocName=en560048

Related Stories

NEC unveils gesture controlling device

May 16, 2012

Japanese technology titan NEC has unveiled a gadget that allows users to control their TV, mobile phone or tablet computer using a virtual input device.

Gesture recognition

Dec 18, 2008

A system that can recognize human gestures could provide a new way for people with physical disabilities to interact with computers. A related system for the able bodied could also be used to make virtual worlds more realistic. ...

Recommended for you

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Neuroscientist's idea wins new-toy award

Apr 15, 2014

When he was a child, Robijanto Soetedjo used to play with his electrically powered toys for a while and then, when he got bored, take them apart - much to the consternation of his parents.

Land Rover demos invisible bonnet / car hood (w/ video)

Apr 14, 2014

(Phys.org) —Land Rover has released a video demonstrating a part of its Discover Vision Concept—the invisible "bonnet" or as it's known in the U.S. the "hood" of the car. It's a concept the automaker ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...