Low power tech brings gesture to the masses

Microchip Technologies has developed a new system for gesture recognition, based on the use of electrical fields to detect motion and a range of gestures in the space above it. The prototype unit is demonstrated to be capable of detecting swipes and edge swipes as well as the 3-D location of a hand within its pick up volume.
The company says that its advantages over current systems are its extremely low power usage (only 150 microwatts) and its comparatively low cost at volume.

The company is offering a development kit. A gesture library was constructed using algorithms that learned from how different people make the same movements, to be applied toward device functions such as .point, click, zoom, or scroll. Ten gestures were programmed into the device with recognition based on Markov models. According to the company, "the chip provides developers the flexibility to utilize pre-filtered electrode signals for additional functionality in their applications."