SAN JOSE, CA -- A library of software algorithms and middleware that combines and processes data from sensors in smartphones and tablets, to interpret users' movements, context, and intent, was announced by Sensor Platforms, Inc. of San Jose, CA. A Software Development Kit (SDK) was also introduced.
The company's FreeMotion Library takes raw data from pre-installed accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes and barometers on smartphones and tablets, in order to enable the mobile applications to become "context aware," understanding the situations and environments of their users.
FreeMotion Library allows mobile device designers and application developers to improve product performance and reduce platform fragmentation by:
- conserving sensor power: The challenge of adding new capabilities to a mobile device lies in minimizing the associated power consumption. In the case of sensors, this means up to 10 mW in added power when sensors are in use. The FreeMotion Library includes a proprietary algorithm that would turn off power hungry sensors, like the gyroscope, and emulate its function with lower power sensors when user movements are slow, thereby dropping sensor power consumption by 90 percent.
- enabling alternate sourcing: Applications optimized for one sensor may perform poorly with a counterpart from a different vendor, and applications written to the lowest common denominator are useless. The FreeMotion Library applies sensor fusion across the entire suite of sensors so that users always receive the best available information, independent of the quirks of any individual sensor.
- maintaining sensor calibration: All sensors require frequent calibration to maintain their data quality. For example, suboptimal calibration in many devices today has resulted in large compass heading errors. The FreeMotion Library is built on an architecture that supports reliable sampling, and ongoing cross–sensor calibration to assure reliable sensor information for application developers and end users;
- empowering application developers with more than motion data: The FreeMotion library populates application programming interfaces (API), so the data produced by its sensor calibration and sensor fusion provides robust data with superior accuracy. But apps need information about the user him/herself, not just changes in the user's motion or direction. The FreeMotion Software Development Kit establishes a foundation to extend the types of information and insights that applications can gain from sensor data.
According to Ian Chen, Executive Vice President of Sensor Platforms, "Sensor fusion, which improves virtual sensor results by combining data from several sensors rather than relying on only one, will become a base requirement for all mobile devices this year. Our library enables that and takes it to the next step; that is, unlocking even more information that is available from sensor measurements in order to enable activity-based service and context. And that will open up possibilities for a whole range of applications that people are only beginning to think about."
The FreeMotion Library features the lowest power consuming sensor fusion solution available for inertial sensors by allowing:
- dynamic configuring to optimize battery life;
- automatic throttle to reduce sensor power consumption;
- efficient fixed point implementation;
- power conscientious at the core of its architecture.
About Sensor Platforms
Sensor Platforms is a venture-financed company located in Silicon Valley that licenses algorithmic software and platforms that enable mobile consumer applications to better serve the users.
The company's FreeMotion library provides the sophisticated intelligence needed to combine and process data from various sensors installed in smartphones and tablets, in order to interpret the users' movements and situations, and infer their intents.
The library makes it easy for device OEMs to purchase their sensors from multiple suppliers without damaging user experience. It also automatically optimizes sensor and platform power consumption based on user movement and contexts, to enable longer battery life.
To create the breadth of the FreeMotion library, the company has assembled a multi-disciplinary engineering team with proven track records in control systems, machine learning, mixed signal design, motion kinematics, real-time systems, semiconductor device physics, and signal processing.