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Plessey releases new EPIC sensor for movement sensing applications

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 5:01am

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Plymouth, ENGLAND – 10 November 2011 – Plessey Semiconductors announced today that it has released the latest version of the Electric Potential Integrated Circuit (EPIC) sensor specifically tailored to detect movement. This version of the EPIC has been optimised for security, switching and gaming applications. By detecting changes in the electric field the EPIC sensor provides an output to a relay to act as a simple non-touch electric switch. The EPIC sensor can be used in both proximity mode or to detect specific kinds of movement as a limited gesture recognition device. As the EPIC sensor does not need line of sight and can even detect movement through walls, it can also be used to replace, or as an adjunct to, a passive infra-red (PIR) sensor in a variety of applications including security motion detectors.

Samples of Plessey’s award winning Electric Potential Integrated Circuit (EPIC) sensors are now available. The first products were optimised for use as an ECG sensor and provide a resolution as good as or better than conventional electrodes. The latest EPIC sensor, part number PS25401, can be used in any electrical application as a simple switch including toys, electric appliances, smart lighting, gaming and security. This family of EPIC sensors has been engineered for higher volume applications allowing volume prices for the chip solution of around one-dollar US.

Derek Rye, Plessey Marketing Director, said, “We have been inundated with demand for samples of the EPIC sensor and have had our first design wins in ECG products for the health monitoring markets. We have also been working with a number of companies on movement sensing and gesture recognition applications. We believe we have an opportunity for some early revenue based on designs for proximity non-touch switches for consumer products.”

Dr. Keith Strickland, Plessey Technology Director, commented, “We have optimised the base layout of the EPIC sensor chip such that discrete movements of the human body can be detected, with a range of up to several metres. For example, the sensor can be configured to detect the proximity of a hand or to detect specific hand motions depending on the chip variant and the appropriate selection of circuit components external to the EPIC sensor. Whilst these first applications for individual sensors are quite simple, they are paving the way for the next generation of sensor array devices that will change the way we address more sophisticated applications like writing on tablets and smart phones, the remote control of televisions and controller-less gaming applications.”

Plessey issued a press release on 10th October identifying the release of samples for an ECG specific product. More recently, Plessey announced that it had won the R&D Achievement award for the EPIC sensor at the NMI gala dinner held 3rd November.

Further details at www.plesseysemi.com
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