We’re stretching our remit a little by reporting on Elliptic Labs, as its ultrasound-based detection system is not a display. However, it might have implications for displays. The technology is able to use the standard speakers and microphones built into mobiles, so it eliminates one of the sensors (the presence sensor) that might otherwise have to sit in a ‘notch’ at the top of a full screen display.
Last year, the company was pleased to have won its first design in with the Xiaomi Mix 2 (Elliptic is Behind Xiaomi Mi Mix), and this year it was talking about improvements in its technology. The firm has been able to develop an ability to detect broad gestures at up to 2 metres away from the phone – a feature that means that a gesture can be used to trigger an event, such as a group selfie. The presence detection can also be used continuously, so privacy options can be triggered if the user moves away.
The gestures can be detected at 180 deg around a speaker and it was also showing that by putting a field around a smart speaker, merely moving a hand towards or away from the speaker, it can change parameters such as volume. With smart speakers starting to control home IoT devices, gestures could also be used to, for example, dim lighting. Gestures can also be used to interrupt longer answers – it can be irritating to have to wait for Alexa or Siri!
The presence detection and gestures, rather than key words, can also be used in addition to voice data to decide if an individual is within the proximity of the speaker – which can help if smart speakers are close to each other and multiple devices can hear.
Elliptic pointed out that one of the advantages of its technology is its short range, which can help security.