Interface ICs use infrared to permit touchless interface -

Interface ICs use infrared to permit touchless interface

Over the past few months, we've seen the introduction of a host of touch interface solutions. Here's one more, but this one is a little different. This one, from Silicon Laboratories, employs infrared technology, rather than resistive or capacitive. Hence, it's actually a “touchless” touch interface. The company's QuickSense family now includes the Si1102 proximity sensor and the Si1120 proximity and ambient light sensor.

Optimized for power efficiency, the Si1102 and Si1120 are suited for a wide variety of sensing applications, such as portable electronics, IP phones, displays, kiosks, dispensers, interactive toys, clock radios, and other consumer and industrial products. They're also good solutions for products that can benefit from system power savings, tamper detection/proofing, and gesture interpretation.

The Si1102 sensor enables an electronic device to quickly gauge its proximity to the user. For example, it can detect if a handset is near a user's face and adjusts the display and lighting accordingly. The Si1120 infrared proximity and ambient light sensor can also detect the ambient light in the external environment, allowing screen backlighting to be dimmed, thereby saving power. The Si1120 device enables the use of a touchless proximity slider for gesturing, allowing end users to navigate without a physical touch but with simple gestures.

The two devices use a patented single-pulse proximity measurement technique to maximize power efficiency. With a range of up to 50 cm (unaided by lenses), the Si1102/20 can power down displays and other functions when the user is not present.

The Si1102 and Si1120 devices are available now in 8-pin ODFN packages and are priced at $0.90 and $1.05, respectively, in lots of 10,000. Reference designs and evaluation boards are available. For more information, go to

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