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Hillcrest Labs has announced it has designed a new sensor hub product to change how consumers use their smartphones and other portable electronics. Sensor hubs are a separate class of chips designed to offload sensor management from the main processor. Hillcrest’s SH-1 sensor hub is a turn-key software solution that provides ‘always on’ features such as context awareness and gesture recognition to augment the consumer experience and minimize system power consumption. At launch, Hillcrest’s software will be paired with a cost-effective, low power SAM D20 ARM(R) Cortex(R) M0+ based microcontroller from Atmel(R), which enables device manufacturers to get to market quickly.
“There’s an insatiable appetite for power savings and new functionality in mobile devices and wearable electronics,” said Chad Lucien, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Hillcrest Labs. “We are confident that a broad range of products will benefit from the level of performance, range of functions, and low power utilization of the SH-1 sensor hub.”
“ARM is pleased to see Hillcrest Labs launch the SH-1 sensor hub, which promises to hand consumers compelling new experiences and levels of control over their environments and devices,” said Simon Ford, director, Internet of Things Platforms, ARM. “We’re excited to partner with Hillcrest Labs to turn the vision of ‘always on’, context-aware devices into reality. This is a great example of how intelligent and energy-efficient ARM-based technology is bringing the exciting benefits of the Internet of Things into consumers’ lives today.”
The SH-1 sensor hub is a complete software package that includes high performance, low power sensor fusion, context awareness and gesture recognition algorithms, optimized sensor drivers, and the hub/host interface which communicates with an application processor. The software transforms data from up to six different types of sensors—including inertial, magnetic and environmental sensors—into application-ready information and is designed to perform consistently regardless of the sensor supplier used. The combination of the low power sensor hub microcontroller and Hillcrest’s software is available for Android™ smartphones and tablets, wearable devices, and a variety of other sensor-enabled devices.At launch, Hillcrest’s SH-1 sensor hub will be available on Atmel’s chip and will support sensors from the world’s leading sensor makers. It is initially targeted to the Android mobile device ecosystem, with complete support for Android 4.3 at launch. The solution can be augmented by the Freespace MotionElements software bundle to provide additional context awareness, activity tracking and gesture recognition functions on the application processor. Hillcrest expects to announce customers using Freespace-enabled sensor hubs in products shipping in the coming months.