Ultrasonic touch processor brings virtual controls to wearables

October 21, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Ultrasonic touch processor brings virtual controls to wearables
Ultrasonic touch controls developer Sentons has launched an ultra-low-power processor and accompanying gesture engine to be used in wearables and other small hardware to create virtual controls to navigate apps and features on the devices themselves.

The SDSwave SNT8250 processor and gesture engine unlock a customizable, ergonomic user experience, while eliminating UX design restrictions that come from the limited real estate and tiny surfaces found on wearables such as glasses, earbuds, watches, and fitness trackers.

"Wearable makers haven't been able to deliver streamlined, sleek wearable devices with natural user interfaces because of the constraints that come with limited space," says Jess Lee, Sentons President and CEO. "Moreover, traditional touch technologies not only respond to touch but also to water, making them impractical for use on wearables that are often outdoors and exposed to the elements."

"We're excited to finally bring a solution to market that allows device designers to make use of even the tiniest surface to make it touch and force interactive. This outdoor and water-immune interactivity unlocks new user experiences and capabilities for wearables, something the industry has never seen before."

The company's wearable solutions can transform the entire device into a force-sensitive touch interface that is able to recognize and distinguish gestures, all at different speeds and pressure levels on the smallest of devices, regardless of the shape, without compromising battery longevity or sleek design aesthetics. It also brings curved surfaces to life and is fully water immune, enabling touch on wet surfaces.

The solution is offered as allowing device makers to deliver a seamless experience in the most rugged environments or during intense fitness routines. Users can tap the edge or squeeze the device to make a selection, slide a finger up and down the edge to scroll, and more.

Key benefits of the SNT8255 processor include:

  • Unlocks new user experiences with virtualized buttons that are redefinable in software
  • Gesture functionality in the presence of water
  • Highly engineered to identify intended touch and press patterns and reject false touches and activation from water
  • Works with metal surfaces, unlike capacitive touch
  • Haptics triggering is available with the sensor module
  • Compatible with thin, small

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