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Infrared gesture sensor detects wider range at greater distances

05 Jul 2021

Maxim Integrated's optical sensor is 1/4 size and 1/10 cost than camera-based ToF systems for automotive applications.

Maxim Integrated Products, based in San Jose, Ca, US, has launched the latest generation of its infrared-based dynamic optical sensor, which can sense a broader range of gestures at extended distances.

The MAX25405 can detect a wider proximity of movement and doubles the sensing range to 400mm when compared to earlier generations, all in a quarter of the size and at 10x lower cost than time-of-flight (ToF) camera-based systems in automotive, industrial and consumer applications, says Maxim, adding, “These enhancements offer an alternative to voice communications, enabling drivers to focus on the road.”

Along with integrated optics and a 6 x 10 infrared sensor array, the next-generation MAX25405 now includes a glass lens which increases sensitivity and improves the signal-to-noise ratio, the developer claims.

‘Gesture-sensing entertainment displays’

The improved performance doubles the proximity and distance of sensing applications to beyond the driver, offering gesture-sensing entertainment displays to the co-driver and rear seat passengers, for example.

The MAX25405 features a high level of integration compared to competitive ToF solutions that require three chips and a complicated microprocessor. The MAX25405's small 20-pin, 4mm x 4mm x 1.35mm quad flat no-lead (QFN) package together with four discrete LEDs measures up to 75 percent smaller than ToF camera-based solutions.

”Maxim Integrated's MAX25405 recognizes the most dynamic gestures at the lowest cost, allowing automakers to avoid the prohibitive cost of time-of-flight cameras and to help keep drivers' eyes on the road,” commented Szu-Kang Hsien, director for the Automotive Business Unit at Maxim Integrated.

“The affordable gesture sensing feature adds value to low- and mid-range cars, while offering passengers the luxury of touch-free gesture control.”

Key features

  • Wide sensing range: The MAX25405 senses a wider proximity of movement and doubles the sensing range from 20cm to 40cm when compared to earlier infrared generations.
  • Lowest cost and smallest size: The MAX25405 senses swipe, rotation and other important gestures at a lower cost than ToF cameras. High integration results in a total solution size that is significantly smaller than ToF camera solutions.
  • Versatile: The MAX25405 recognizes nine gestures, including swipe, rotation, air-click, linger to click and 3 x 2 proximity zones with minimal lag time. This cost-effective single chip makes gesture-sensing affordable for multi-range automotive, consumer and industrial applications, including touch-free smart home hubs, thermostats and many more.

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