UltraSense Systems Emerges from Stealth to Launch a Revolutionary New Touch User Interface that Brings Any Surface to Life in Smartphones, Home Appliances, Cars, Consumer/IoT and Medical Devices

World’s First and Smallest Ultrasound Sensor enables Touch Sensing Through Virtually Any Material and Any Thickness

News Highlights

  • World’s smallest ultrasound system-on-chip sampling to smartphone makers: 1.4 x 2.4x 0.49 mm (about the size of the tip of a pen), production-ready in December, available in smartphones in 2020
  • Opens new design possibilities for virtual buttons in smartphones, cars, IoT, medical and home appliances to create sleek designs and dedicated touch experiences for specific tasks
  • Immune to sensing through moisture, dirt, oils and lotions,enabling touch through any material and thickness: metal, glass, wood, ceramic and plastic
San Jose, CA. (December 17, 2019) – Today a new company, UltraSense Systems, emerged from stealth mode to usher in a paradigm shift for touch user interfaces. UltraSense’s unique technology can now enable a multi-functional touch interface to be done through virtually any material and any material thickness,including metal, glass, wood, ceramic and plastic, to cost-effectively turn any surface into a virtual button or gesture. With its unveiling, the company introduced its family of TouchPoint ultrasound sensors, which are already sampling and is expected to be incorporated into several consumer devices in 2020.

UltraSense was founded by a team of experts with experience in manufacturing and selling over one billion motion and audio sensors to the smartphone and consumer electronics markets

“We have seen a shift in the way we interact with our devices, where digital has replaced mechanical, and the move to virtual buttons and surface gestures is accelerating,” said Mo Maghsoudnia,founder and CEO, UltraSense Systems.“The use of ultrasound in touch user interfaces has not been implemented in such a novel way until now. Our family of TouchPoint ultrasound sensor solutions enable new use cases that allow OEMs to bring a differentiated user experience with a wider variety of touch and gesture functions under virtually any material and material thickness.”  

“The UltraSense TouchPoint ultrasound sensor is a unique and innovative addition to the list of solutions for user interface capabilities,” said Richard Wawrzyniak, principal market analyst for ASIC &SoC at Semico Research. “This gives industrial designers a really useful option to differentiate their products while improving performance without adding to clutter. Needless to say, the ‘cool’ factor in products that employ this technology is going to be very high. Semico thinks this product is going to very successful as designers discover what they can do with it.”

Use Cases

Unlike competing technologies, including strain gauge, force touch and surface acoustic wave solutions that have extensive industrial and mechanical design restrictions like material thickness, integration complexity and production calibration time, UltraSense’s TouchPoint solutions provide for minimal integration effort and mere seconds of production calibration. This simplicity opens the opportunity for many new use cases such as:
  • Removal of mechanical buttons from smartphones to support new industrial designs required for millimeter wave 5G phones
  •  One-hand selfie operation with a multi-functional touch user interface on the backside of the smartphone
  • Gaming buttons and photo-taking keys seamlessly built into the sides of smartphones
  • Touch interface or slider in wearable devices like watches, earbuds or AR/VR glasses
  • A new ubiquitous touch user interface across home appliance products that use a variety of thick materials from stainless steel, glass, plastics and ceramics
  • The ability to open or lock your car door with a simple touch of the metal chrome plated door handle
  • Virtual buttons located in the steering wheel center and door panels using solid surfaces that are easy to clean in ride-sharing and shared vehicles

TouchPoint Product Family and Availability

UltraSense’s broad product line addresses smartphone, consumer/IoT, automotive and industrial user interface requirements. The TouchPoint family of sensors are the world’s smallest ultrasound system-on-a-chip delivering highly localized touch sensing from thin to thick surfaces with sensors in tiny package sizes and consuming mere uAs of current in always-on mode. TouchPoint sensors are designed to operate independent of a product’s host processor with all the algorithm processing embedded in the sensor. It can be used as a standalone power button, among other uses (volume +/-, shortcut keys, etc.) for wake-on-touch sensing, by powering on the entire product with a simple touch and can be a multi-functional user interface using a series of taps, holds and swipes. Sensors can be directly interfaced with power management and haptic driver ICs.

Using 3D Z-force ultrasound sensing provides gram-force measurement in applications that require gloves, external covers/cases and water/ice rejection. For applications where low power consumption is not a requirement, certain TouchPoint sensors include large drivers with higher operating voltages to transmit the ultrasound beam through very thick materials of solid metal (e.g.>25mm/1 inch) and beyond. The transducer can also be shut off and the sensor used to drive piezo materials to cost-effectively support large touch sensing areas, like a mouse pad in a laptop or track pad in an automobile center console.

Resources

About UltraSense

UltraSense Systems builds ultrasonic user experiences with precise, highly localized, buttonless interfaces that bring surfaces to life.Its TouchPoint product line enables customers to deliver seamless and natural interactions on any surface,including metal,glass, wood, ceramic and plastic.The company has created the world’s smallest ultrasound system-on-a-chip that can be used as a technology platform for delivering buttonless, new touch user interfaces in smartphones, consumer electronics, home appliances, automotive, IoT, industrial and medical markets.  For more information,
visit http://ultrasensesys.com