How does ams sensor technology enable a better lifestyle? Pierre Laboisse, ams EVP Global Sales and Marketing, walks us through how on average 200 sensors could enhance our lives every day, from your dawn workout to turning off the lights. Some scenarios are future ideas.
How 200 sensors enhance our lives every day
Did you know that you have probably used an application that makes use of an ams sensor by the time you have had your first cup of coffee in the morning? ams estimates that on average, people are in contact with around 200 sensors every day in their devices, car, or at work. Sensors gather data that can then enable an action. Let´s look at how ams sensor technology is used today, and some future scenarios that will enable a better lifestyle.
Our mobile phones have become indispensable. From 3D sensing, spectral sensing and innovative Behind OLED (BOLED) light sensing and much more, ams sensor technology is used by leading smartphone OEMs worldwide. 3D sensing technologies such as time-of-flight (ToF) measures the precise distance between the phone and an object and can be used for enhanced AR, video and photographic effect applications. Our 3D face recognition know-how has brought fast and convenient user identification and authentication to smartphones which includes secure payment authorization. Our BOLED light sensors help OEMs to create smaller, bezel-less phones and our spectral sensors enable better photography in mobile devices. ams’ technology helps enhance your mobile lifestyle, many of these enhancements are also moving into tablets, computers, and wireless headsets.
As you listen to music while doing your workout you might do so with ams’ ANC (active noise cancelation) technology and augmented hearing technology which is found in many earbuds and headphones worldwide.
ams sensor technology for comfort and safety on the road
On your drive to work, perhaps you are using ams sensor and lighting technology. As you remotely unlock your car, a bright and sharp light pattern will be projected on the ground to welcome you. During your drive, accurate position sensors deployed in steering and active suspension systems help make your ride as safe and comfortable as possible, even on bumpy roads.
Optical sensing technology recognizes your gestures and allows you to interact distraction-free and intuitively with your car’s infotainment system. Soon this technology will soon assist you beyond convenience, e.g. detecting living beings and objects on any seat ensuring the vehicle safety systems can respond in the best possible way for all passengers – including children and pets.
Driver-facing optical sensing systems – required for each car aiming for top safety ratings from EURO NCAP – will benefit from key ams building blocks. The possible fatal accidents caused by driver drowsiness and distraction will be significantly reduced if the car can warn the driver of micro sleep or changing eye focus occurring while driving.
In the near future, when you are traveling on the freeway, your highway pilot functionality will be significantly enhanced with robust and reliable solid-state LiDAR sensors for which ams develops the laser source based on its unique VCSEL technology. In the future, this same technology will contribute to making fully autonomous vehicles possible.
ams technology will be put to work again if you activate your autonomous parking feature as it can use distance information from short-range LiDAR and ams 1D ToF to allow your car to find its way into the tightest parking places with precise accuracy.
3D technology for secure access to work or home
ams’ 3D sensing technology used in mobile phones can also be utilized in many other applications, for example to securely access your home or – with time recording in mind – your workplace. 3D recognition is being evaluated for electronic door lock systems used in home and building automation for hands-free access. We believe this technology is superior to fingerprint access, which often does not work when your hands are cold or wet.
3D recognition also offers significantly higher security compared to 2D recognition systems. Moreover, 3D sensing based access can enable a hands-free environment that helps reduce the spread of germs– vital in today’s world.
Proximity sensors for industry which enable more complex and accurate human-machine interaction
As industry drives efficiency and automation, whether it be drone delivery or factory robotics, sensing technology plays a key role. Industry needs more precise 1/2/3D proximity sensing technology, which ams provides. Eventually, robots and humans will work together in highly complex ways where multitudes of sensors will be used simultaneously to enable a seamless cooperation between the humans and machines. ams sensors are also able to scan the surrounding areas, such as a warehouse, container, or truck quickly and accurately to easily measure the volume of a load.
Healthcare – “Could you please swallow this Naneye camera”
Prevention is the best medicine: we envision that our biosensors in smartphones, wearables and other devices, that allow us to measure vital life signs, will widen access to increased preventative healthcare and enable a better, more independent and healthier lifestyle. ams provides the one of the world`s smallest cameras, the Naneye – for healthcare, home, and industrial applications. The ams Naneye could eventually enable a disposable endoscopy swallowed in a capsule. As a world leader in imaging technology, ams image sensors are in high-performance Computer Tomography (CT) or Digital X-Ray-equipment if you require a preventative or emergency scan.
In these times of COVID-19 and stay-at-home directives in many countries across the world, ams is working to help in the fight to control the Corona virus. Our optical sensor technology can be used in Lateral Flow diagnostics to enhance the accuracy of readout of point-of-care test kits. We are looking to cooperate with companies that are developing disposable quick testing systems to further evolve this technology so our world can start getting back to normal more rapidly.
Payment made secure and easy
As your day comes to an end, new sensor use cases, such as 3D face authentication for a hands-free, secure payment experience at the grocery store could become commonplace.
ams sensor technology makes the impossible possible
“Imagine the impossible” is a core value at ams. While our sensor technologies make the impossible possible, our engineers and sales teams worldwide, together with our customers, “imagine the impossible” to create ideas for innovation which enhance our daily lives. This is how we identify new business models and technology that offer value to our customers – and delivers the promise of a better lifestyle to users. I look forward to your feedback, and to connecting with you again on the ams blog.