We met with Elliptic Labs which is a specialist in ultrasound and was in a good mood as it has been working with Xiaomi on the Mi Mix which uses Elliptic’s ultrasound system for presence detection. That means that a separate proximity is not needed as the standard speaker and microphone can be used. On most phones there is a visible infrared proximity detector (although Apple hides its sensor behind the glass). Using the speaker for the presence detection allows the display to be ‘edge to edge’. The design also moves the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone.
Elliptic said that there has been a lot of work done on ultrasonic technology in its home country of Norway and Elliptic spent seven years in R&D before delivering solutions for three years and it has offices in Shanghai and California. The technology is patented and we told that “If they want to use ultrasound, they have to use ours”. Hmmmm….
Elliptic told us that any smartphone speakers and microphones can use its technology, even though the range of frequencies is in the 25-40KHz range, well beyond the audible range. What about using the display as a speaker, we asked? Elliptic told us that it is working with ‘every major player’ and that nobody is planning to use that concept. Interesting. (BR)