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“Combining Ultra-low-power Proximity Sensing and Ranging to Enable New Applications,” a Presentation from STMicroelectronics

Armita Abadian, Senior Technical Marketing Manager for Imaging in the Americas at STMicroelectronics, presents the “Combining Ultra-low-power Proximity Sensing and Ranging to Enable New Applications” tutorial at the May 2022 Embedded Vision Summit.

Time-of-flight (ToF) sensors are widely used to provide depth maps, which enable machines to understand their surroundings in three dimensions for applications ranging from touchless user interfaces to obstacle detection for robotics. In this talk, Abadian shows how STMicroelectronics’ ToF sensors can double as ultra-low-power proximity detectors with the help of a specially designed software driver.

In proximity detector mode, the ToF sensor consumes about 150 μW. When an object appears close to the sensor, a single-bit output signal can be used to wake up an embedded processor. The ToF sensor can then be switched to depth sensing mode. These combined capabilities enable new levels of energy efficiency. For example, a touchless user interface system can remain in ultra-low-power mode until a user appears nearby—at which point the system can wake up and switch the ToF sensor into ranging mode to detect hand gestures and control the system.

See here for a PDF of the slides.

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