Tiny proximity sensors assist user identification on mobile devices

ams claims the smallest integrated, 1D time-of-flight (ToF) distance measurement and proximity sensing module on the market. The new TMF8701 sensor is designed to trigger facial recognition systems on smartphones when the user’s face comes within range of the phone’s display.

The TMF8701 triggers a smartphone’s facial recognition system when an object comes within 60 cm of the device’s display screen. The sensor is “always on” but draws only 940 µA in proximity sensing mode when sampling at 10 Hz, placing very little demand on the phone’s battery.

The TMF8701 also differentiates between the reflection of a human face beyond the device’s display cover glass and the reflection of a fingerprint or other smudge on the display itself, a common problem with ToF sensors. The sensor turns off the facial recognition system and activates the display when objects (such as the user’s fingers) come within 0–10 cm of the device’s screen. The accurate distance measurements that the TMF8701 provides also support the laser-detect auto-focus function on smartphones’ selfie cameras, particularly in poorly lit environments.

2 thoughts on “Tiny proximity sensors assist user identification on mobile devices

  1. “I've read the article about whether a device would be able to tell the difference between one and another twin and from the results, I am actually thinking that there needs to be more development on the sophistication of facial recognition technology. I d

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  2. “I have seen a friend of mine using his facial recognition system on his cell. Sadly, it does not work most of the time and he has to manually enter his keyword each time. With this proximity sensor, it would allow a huge amount of convenience at unlocking

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