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Knowles Creates Touch-Less Gesture Recognition for Smartphones and Tablets

June 24, 2014

The engineers at Knowles Corp. have developed a digital microphone supporting ultrasonic bandwidth.

In its release, Knowles said that this new product allows the microphone to assist smartphones and consumer electronics with touch- less gesture recognition, phone-to-phone data transmission, pen input compatibility for handsets and tablets, and 3D positioning input.

To facilitate these capabilities, Knowles noted that the new MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) microphone can receive ultrasonic sound waves above the audible range of humans, up to 80 kHz, and use those waves to triangulate an object's location and movement. The technology principles are similar to radar or an ultrasound administered by a doctor during pregnancy.

"Our commitment to continuous improvement and innovation allows us to develop leading edge products that push the industry forward and enhance the user experience," said Mike Adell, Knowles' Co- President of Mobile Consumer Electronics. "Knowles invented the MEMS microphone and facilitated the audio enhancements in the smartphone revolution. We are the world's largest microphone manufacturer, and our new ultrasonic bandwidth microphone is another example of how we use our audio expertise to solve for the ever-changing consumer market."

Beyond the ultrasonic mode, the microphone offers four performance modes, including a low power voice activation mode, which is ideal for mobile consumer electronics.

"Our experience and customer relationships allow us to develop products with the best acoustic performance per square millimeter, while reducing the amount of board space required," said Thibault Kassir, Senior Director, Product Management, Mobile Consumer Electronics. "This highly advanced microphone provides designers with an intelligent solution that reshapes the capabilities of the category."

Knowles expects to begin manufacturing this product in the third quarter of 2014.

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Source: Professional Services Close - Up

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