With VR coming to the front line in gaming this year, there could be a resurgence of motion capture. This might be a decent acquisition for the gaming market if they can put out an easily accessible product with it.
There is a new gesture recognition technology out of Berkely based on ultrasound, from Richard Przybyla:
"Optical 3D imagers for gesture recognition, such as Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion, suffer from large size and high power consumption. Their performance depends on ambient illumination and they generally cannot operate in sunlight. These factors have prevented widespread adoption of gesture interfaces in energy- and volume-limited environments such as tablets and smartphones. Gesture recognition using sound is an attractive candidate to overcome these difficulties because of the potential for chip-scale solution size, low power consumption, and ambient light insensitivity. Our research focuses on building a 3D ultrasonic rangefinder system using batch-fabricated micromachined aluminum nitride (AlN) ultrasonic transducer arrays and custom CMOS electronics.
In this talk, I will present the design methodology for a prototype ultrasonic rangefinder system. I will show how the choice of basic system specifications affects the mechanical transducer design and the interface circuit design. I will present a physics-based model of an ultrasound transducer which accurately predicts device operation. I will present measured results from an ultrasonic 3D gesture recognition system which uses an array of AlN MEMS transducers and custom readout electronics to localize targets over a +/-45o field of view up to 1m away. The 0.18μm CMOS readout ASIC comprises 10 independent channels with separate high voltage transmitters, readout amplifiers, and ADCs. Power dissipation is 400μW at 30fps, and scales to 5μW/ch at 10fps."
Maybe Fairchild is trying to jumpstart a new use of their product.
Having tried out exercize games on a Wii U using tracking controllers in each hand, and having played around with the XBox Kinect, I remain unimpressed with the technology so far.
Having a game console that could accurately represent where your hands and feet are allows for some interesting games--the kind of thing the Wii and XBox try for but don't pull off (note I haven't tried the Xbox 1).
You could have accurate sword fighting, boxing, karate, dance exercizes even sports training or practicing your golf swing.
If Fairchild could offer the software that allows vendors to implement accurate hand and feet tracking, that would make their products more likely to make it into the next gaming/exercize tracking products.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.