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Wolfson and Elliptic Labs Partner to Make ‘Always On’, Ultra-Low Power Touchless Gesture Control for Consumer Electronics Devices a Reality

Edinburgh, UK and Palo Alto, California, 21 November 2013 – Wolfson Microelectronics plc, a global leader in the design and development of mixed-signal semiconductor devices and audio solutions for consumer electronics products, and Elliptic Labs, a leader in ultrasonic touchless gesturing for consumer electronics devices, have today announced a partnership to use Elliptic Labs’ ultrasonic gesture control solution with Wolfson’s industry-leading Audio Digital Signal Processor (ADSP) platform. This combined technology makes ‘always on’ ultrasonic, low power touchless gesture control a reality for consumer electronics devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as for in-car infotainment.

Using sound waves to interpret hand movements, Elliptic Labs’ solution is currently the only technology integrated into portable devices that can deliver 3D gesture control with a 180-degree field of view at all sides of the device. It can identify near-field and mid-air gestures with focus up to 50 cm. Wolfson’s ultra-low power ADSP platform enables the electronic device to be ‘always on and always looking’ for gestures without any significant drain on battery life.

Wolfson’s ADSP family of Audio Hubs provides exceptional signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and a range of processing options, including up to 600 MIPS of processing power which enables superior audio quality, as well as providing an ultra-low power processing platform for other real-world interfaces requiring accurate analogue-to-digital conversion and advanced DSP. The ADSP family is platform agnostic and has the ability to run Wolfson’s suite of sound enhancing and noise reduction software, customers’ own software or third party software, such as Elliptic Labs’ ultrasonic gesture control solution, enabling mobile device manufacturers to differentiate their product in the marketplace, while also optimising battery life.

Andy Brannan, Chief Commercial Officer at Wolfson Microelectronics commented: “Along with voice control, touchless gesture control is fast becoming one of the next generation human-machine interfaces for mobile and wearable devices. The form-factors and use cases of new devices increasingly make touch control impractical. The barrier to this new technology being more widely adopted has been power consumption. Wolfson removes this barrier to enable true ‘always on’ handsfree control in all situations. Elliptic Labs is at the forefront of this new technology trend, and we are delighted to work with them to port their ultrasonic touchless gesture control solution onto our ultra-low power platform.”

Laila Danielsen, CEO of Elliptic Labs said: “Integrating Elliptic Labs’ ultrasonic touchless gesturing solution with Wolfson’s ADSP platform gives device manufacturers a way to offer the advantages of touchless gesturing to consumers while ensuring extremely low power consumption. Today, OEMs are keen to enable mobile devices to be ‘always on and always looking’ for hand gestures while consuming minimal power, and working alongside low power voice control. Our combined technology can ensure this becomes a reality for the market.”

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