Imagine a scenario where you control almost everything by simply waving your arms and not by punch any buttons or touching a screen. Welcome to the complicated world of gesture controls. Mechanical buttons and switches are subject to the risk of reliability – they also need protection from the environment. When replaced with electrical controls, such as resistive or capacitive displays and buttons, these do bypass the problems faced by mechanical switches. However, to operate, they still need the physical touch of the operator.
By using optical sensors, it is easy to avoid the reliability risk, mechanical complexity and the requirement for physical touch. You can find optical sensors being used as proximity detectors in many applications such as in water and soap dispensers. Apart from the ease of operation, optical sensors provide the primary potential in recognizing user gestures, thereby reducing system complexity and enhancing user functionality. Today, gesture sensors have evolved to revolutionize user interface controls. They offer the ideal combination of functionality, performance and ease of implementation.
For instance, gesture sensor TMG3992 and others offer simple digital interfaces and do not demand significant processing or memory bandwidth to operate. Being interrupt driven, such sensors interact with the system only when they encounter a recognized event. Simple electrical and software designs are enough to implement two and four direction gesture sensing applications. The sensors work easily from behind plastic or glass transparent to infrared light. That means there is no added complexity or reliability risk in incorporating gesture sensors in electronic devices, as most use plastic housings transparent to infrared.
Gesture sensors help the industry in myriad ways. For example, heavy industries use gloves that limit options for user interface. Operators need specialty gloves to operate most capacitive touchscreens, as they do not respond to commonly used gloves. On the other hand, there are no restrictions for gesture sensors to operate with any type of gloves.
Gesture sensors are eminently suitable for recreational applications such as cold weather or aerial sports and industrial applications such as clean room manufacturing, chemical industries and construction. For example, a skier may keep his or her hands warm within gloves and yet operate a smartphone or manipulate a self-mounted camera with ease.
Touchscreens do not work in environments under water. However, divers can make full use of gesture sensors. It is true water attenuates infrared light and restricts the working distance, so you need additional power. However, multiple benefits overcome this minor restriction. Using gesture sensors such as the TMG3992 and similar greatly simplifies the user interface as underwater cameras can do the job, while the TMG3992 replaces several mechanical buttons and switches for a smaller and more reliable interface.
Smartphone designers and manufacturers already include several user interface options offering multiple solutions for different tasks. However, in many situations – such as exercising or cooking – it is inconvenient to touch the phone while performing the tasks. Gesture controls provide the user different ways of interacting with the phone – such as when checking notifications and scrolling through them. For example, the user can identify a caller and select from a variety of options – answer the call with the speaker enabled, ignore the call without a response or ignore the call with a pre-defined text message.