Ultrasound system-on-chip 'brings any surface to life'

December 17, 2019 // By Rich Pell
Ultrasound system-on-chip 'brings any surface to life'
Ultrasound sensor startup UltraSense Systems (San Jose, CA) has emerged from stealth with its launch of what it says is a "revolutionary" new touch user interface.

Offered as the world's smallest ultrasound system-on-chip, the technology, says the company, can enable a multi-functional touch interface through virtually any material and any material thickness - including metal, glass, wood, ceramic, and plastic - to cost effectively turn any surface into a virtual button or gesture.

"We have seen a shift in the way we interact with our devices, where digital has replaced mechanical, and the move to virtual buttons and surface gestures is accelerating," says Mo Maghsoudnia, founder and CEO, UltraSense Systems. "The use of ultrasound in touch user interfaces has not been implemented in such a novel way until now."

With its unveiling, the company introduced its family of TouchPoint ultrasound sensors, which are designed to enable new use cases that allow OEMs to bring a differentiated user experience with a wider variety of touch and gesture functions under virtually any material and material thickness. Its TouchPoint solutions, says the company, provide for minimal integration effort and mere seconds of production calibration, allowing for many new use cases such as the following:

  • Removal of mechanical buttons from smartphones to support new industrial designs required for millimeter wave 5G phones
  • One-hand selfie operation with a multi-functional touch user interface on the backside of the smartphone
  • Gaming buttons and photo-taking keys seamlessly built into the sides of smartphones
  • Touch interface or slider in wearable devices like watches, earbuds or AR/VR glasses
  • A new ubiquitous touch user interface across home appliance products that use a variety of thick materials from stainless steel, glass, plastics and ceramics
  • The ability to open or lock your car door with a simple touch of the metal chrome plated door handle
  • Virtual buttons located in the steering wheel center and door panels using solid surfaces that are easy to clean in ride-sharing and shared vehicles

Its product line, says the company, addresses smartphone, consumer/IoT, automotive, and industrial user interface requirements. The TouchPoint family of sensors

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