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ST Releases New FlightSense Software Package for Gesture Sensing

The FlightSense software detects gestures like tapping, swiping, level control, and more.

STMicroelectronics have released the new FlightSense™ software package for gesture sensing in cost-conscious consumer and industrial applications. The free engineering software is designed to be used with ST's VL53L5CX FlightSense™ time-of-flight (ToF) multizone ranging sensor. Gesture recognition with ToF sensors is a breakthrough technology that allows sophisticated interactions with devices using hand swipes and movement.

ST Releases New FlightSense Software Package for Gesture Sensing

Initially a feature of user interfaces in high-end vehicles, gesture-based interaction can enhance numerous types of equipment, including kitchen appliances, thermostats, smart-home and smart-lighting controls, laptops, AR/VR headsets, tablets, and smartphones. Also, in today's world, user interfaces able to interpret touchless gestures can help prevent infections from spreading through equipment like vending and ticketing machines, elevator controls, and interactive signage.

STMicroelectronics is now making gesture detection simpler and more affordable for mass-market applications with this latest companion software for its VL53L5CX multi-zone ToF ranging sensor. Together, the sensor and software calculate in real-time the X/Y/Z coordinates of the hand, enabling hand tracking and thus recognition of gestures like tapping, swiping, level control, and more.

Conventional gesture-recognition systems used more expensive and intrusive camera-based machine vision. ST's solution lets designers build systems that benefit from greater user privacy and lower power consumption, and that will work in the dark without needing external illumination, unlike in a vision-based solution. The lightweight gesture algorithm can run on a low-power microcontroller and demands minimal system resources, so is easily integrated in an existing application.

“Current trends are driving so-called edge devices to become more affordable and energy efficient, as well as more advanced and powerful,” said Eric Aussedat, ST's Executive VP, Imaging Sub-Group General Manager. “ST is setting the pace with technologies such as our FlightSense imaging product portfolio, which now adds free and ready-to-use software that helps integrate gesture sensing for touchless control in all kinds of consumer and industrial equipment.”

The FlightSense software package is specially designed for the VL53L5CX multi-zone direct time-of-flight (dToF) ranging sensor and can be used with all STM32 microcontrollers. The VL53L5CX is ST's latest-generation ToF sensor, providing 64 zones with high-accuracy ranging up to 400cm with a wide, square-edged 63°-diagonal field of view.

Features of the STSW-IMG035 Gesture Recognition Solution include:

  • Gesture recognition, based on ST's Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology:
    • Hand tracking: accurate real-time position of the user hand in cartesian coordinate system (X, Y, and Z)
    • Tap and double tap
    • Left and right swipe
    • Level control
    • Additional gestures may be enabled
  • Ready to use solution allowing easy integration:
    • Complete application example for STM32F401 microcontroller showing the library integration in an MCU project and including the VL53L5CX configuration and crosstalk calibration example
    • Turnkey gesture library on several Arm® Cortex® microcontroller units
  • Intuitive GUI to discover the gesture recognition:
    • Multiple graphical widgets (gesture recognition, hand tracker, photo viewer, slide show control, and more)
    • Data logging function to replay and debug
  • Benefits of gesture recognition, based on FlightSense technology:
    • Full privacy, no image, no camera module
    • Independent of target reflectance. Gesture recognition performs well even when wearing gloves
    • "All-in-one sensor" easy to integrate, and can be hidden behind a dark cover glass
    • Low power consumption and ease of integration in any architecture

More information on the STSW-IMG035 Gesture Recognition Solution is available on the ST website at STMicroelectronics STSW-IMG035 software page.

The STMicroelectronics website address is www.st.com
[Reprinted with kind permission from STMicroelectronics - Release Date, 25th April, 2022]