Norwegian ultrasound innovator Elliptic Labs has introduced a way for users to interact with smart IoT devices using ultrasound and hand gestures. The company's new EASY IoT software enables users to turn on, off and control IoT appliances just using simple hand gestures.
The new solution is applicable to a wide range of IoT devices like smart thermostats, kitchen appliances, lighting controls, and security systems, to name a few.
The ultrasound technology works much like radar, sending out sound waves that bounce off objects and deliver back information via microphones built into existing devices. Elliptic Labs’ software converts this information into a command for the mobile device or IoT appliance.
The exceptionally wide interaction zone together with low power consumption and functionality in any lighting conditions make ultrasound a winning technology for tomorrow’s connected home, according to the company.
The news was released at Mobile World Congress (22-25 February 2016) where Elliptic Labs demonstrated use cases of EASY IoT with a lamp, smoke detector, and a wireless speaker as examples of IoT appliances. EASY IoT is available to OEMs in 2016. The company will be offering EASY IoT technology to mobile OEMs for inclusion in their products.
“By working closely with mobile OEMs and their IoT innovation departments, we enables consumers to easier connect, control, and interact with IoT devices," explained Laila Danielsen, CEO of Elliptic Labs. "Ultrasound is such a versatile yet robust technology that creating solutions for home use, as we are demoing today, is just the beginning.”
EASY IoT works by using ultrasonic presence-detection to wake up devices and enable touchless gesture capabilities. When a device detects the presence of a hand or body, it turns itself to waiting or active mode, and is ready to be used. The technology can be embedded in any device and OEMs can assign any meaning to a gesture depending on the application and the location where the gesture is performed.
The technology is only available from Elliptic Labs, which argues that ultrasonic touchless gesture technology has already proven itself superior to other approaches, such as optical or infrared sensors. Ultrasonic technology, it claims, is the only such solution that can deliver full 3D interaction all around a device at 180 degrees.