Ultrasonic software set to improve smartphone design


AAC Technologies’ receivers now support ultrasonic frequencies and can support ultrasound gestures without added components 

Elliptic Labs, developer of ultrasound virtual sensors, and AAC Technologies, a provider of audio components, have announced they have joined forces to deliver a reference design in which AAC smartphone audio components and mechanical structures are certified for ultrasonic frequencies. This means the mobile market can access a range of receivers which support audio and ultrasound, giving phone makers a low cost solution for creating full-screen phones and adding ultrasound gestures and capabilities.

“The direction of the smartphone market is clear, with any vendor that wishes to be competitive now scrambling to increase screen real estate,” explained Laila Danielsen, president and CEO at Elliptic Labs.  “The easiest, already-proven method is to move or remove the hardware components – camera, speaker, proximity sensor and more – from the top front screen. Using ultrasonic software is a least expensive solution to achieve this improved design.  A progressive leader like AAC sees that ultrasound will play an increasing role in this market and, is prepared to participate in this important new direction.”

The Elliptic-AAC partnership means that AAC audio components, used in majority of flagship smartphones, will now support ultrasound, so designers do not need to add any other components to transmit ultrasonic frequencies. Elliptic Labs’ ultrasound gesture technology also uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) so developers can add advanced touch-free interface technology to their products efficiently.

Elliptic Labs’ Inner Beauty ultrasound virtual proximity sensor uses the same technology in a phone’s receiver to replace the physical infrared hardware proximity sensor found in most smartphones with software, thereby extending their functional screen area all the way to the top edge of the device. Its technology is already seen in the marketplace in smartphones from Chinese vendor Xiaomi.

“We’ve done reliability testing to verify that our smartphone audio components will fully support ultrasound,” said Jack Duan, COO of AAC Technologies.  “Our reference design with Elliptic Labs will give the mobile market an essential combination of components, software and mechanical layout for audio and ultrasound. This optimized receiver design results in lower costs and higher performance for our OEM customers as well as delivering exciting new design possibilities.”


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