Ultrasonic Gesture Recognizer for Portable Electronic Devices

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed an ultrasonic graphic recognition system that can track a user's movements and translate them into inputs to an electronic device. Their ultrasonic 3D range sensor system uses batch-fabricated micromachined aluminum nitride ultrasonic transducer arrays and custom CMOS electronics. This technology may be useful in the development of practical gesture-controlled computer interfaces. Optical 3D imagers for gesture recognition, such as Microsoft Kinect, suffer from large size and high power consumption. Their performance depends on ambient illumination and they generally cannot operate in sunlight. Ultrasonic gesture recognition systems measure sound waves to turn gestures into inputs, allowing for comparable performance to optical systems but with less power consumption and environmental restrictions.