Motion algorithms lift MEMS-based remotes
September 16, 2011 // R. Colin Johnson
Armed with a new deal to integrate its MEMS sensor algorithms into Texas Instruments's ZigBee-based radio frequency for consumer electronics (RF4CE) hardware platform—RemoTI—Hillcrest Laboratories Inc., hopes to penetrate further into the fast growing markets for MEMS-based motion-control interfaces for Smart TV, streaming video, motion-based gaming and 3-D gesture control.
"Our Freespace MotionEngine improves the performance of original equipment manufacturers' devices by squeezing every bit of functionality from MEMS-based user interfaces," said Chad Lucien, Hillcrest senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Now OEMs can choose TI's chips for RF4CE remotes as well as Broadcom for Bluetooth-based remotes, which we hope will significantly increase our design-ins to smart TVs, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and other gesture-based user interfaces."
Last year, Hillcrest Labs (Rockville, Md.) announced the integration of its MEMS sensor algorithms—the Freespace MotionEngine—with Broadcom Corp.'s digital-TV on-a-chip and Bluetooth on-a-chip, as well as major design-wins with the LG's Smart TVs, SMK's Smart TV remotes, and most recently for the second-generation of the popular Roku set-top box for Internet protocol television (IPTV). The company also licensed its intellectual property to Playstation-maker, Sony Corop. and "amicably resolved" a dispute with Wii-maker Nintendo Corp. regarding its motion-processing algorithms.
The latest incarnation of the Freespace MotionEngine has also improved its modularity, enabling OEMs to run its motion-processing algorithms inside the remote control itself, in the USB dongle that wirelessly communicates with the remote, or on the application processor inside the Smart TV, gaming console, mobile phone or other device.
"As we gain more design wins for a greater variety of devices, we needed to make the Freespace MotionEngine more flexible," said Lucien. "For instance, now Smart TVs can run the gesture recognition algorithms on their own application processor, thus cost-reducing and extending the battery life of their remotes, which now just have to transmit raw sensor data from the MEMS chips."
Hillcrest is also offering pre-assembled sensor modules complete with MEMS accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers, plus a microcontroller running the Freespace MotionEngine, for easy integration into their own gesture-based remotes. Or OEMs can choose to license its Scoop Pointer, which is a complete reference design for gesture-based remote controls. The Scoop Pointer even includes a red-laser pointer so it can also be used for air-mouse applications where presenters choose menu items on-screen as well as to point out items with the laser pointer.
Hillcrest also recently updated its free Kylo web browser to allow OEMs to modify it when creating smart-remote control applications using the Freespace MotionEngine with computers.
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Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturer Ciseco has launched the Raspberry Pi ‘Wireless Inventors Kit’ (RasWIK), featuring 88 pieces to provide everything a Pi owner needs to follow a series of step-by-step projects or to create their own wireless devices, without the need for configuration or even writing code.
RasWIK has been designed to be highly accessible, demystifying the dark art of wireless and enabling anyone with basic computing skills to begin building wireless devices with a Raspberry Pi. You can create anything from a simple traffic light, to a battery monitor, or even a temperature gauge that sends data to the Xively IoT cloud so billions can access the data.This month, Ciseco is giving away twelve Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors kits, worth £49.99 each for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
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In our previous reader offer, Farsens was giving away five kits for EEtimes Europe readers to evaluate its FenixVortex, Kineo and X1 wireless, battery free sensor tags.
Lucky winners include Mr A. Neil from the UK, Mr. E. Delvaux from Belgium, Mr Lengal from the Czech Republic, Mr H. Bijlsma from the Netherlands, and Mr G. Pfaff from Germany. All should be receiving their packages soon. Lets wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
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