Gesture recognition controller reduces driver distraction, says Microchip

To reduce driver distraction through implementing functional safety technology in vehicles, many human machine interface (HMI) designers are turning to gesture recognition for drivers to switch on lights or answer telephone calls while continuing to focus on the road. The latest 3D gesture recognition controller from Microchip Technology is claimed to offer the lowest system cost in the automotive industry, providing a durable single-chip solution for advanced automotive HMI designs.

The MGC3140 is the first in Microchip’s family of 3D gesture controllers that is qualified for automotive use.

It can be used for a range for applications that limit driver distraction and add convenience to vehicles, explains Microchip. The capacitive technology-based air gesture controller can navigate infotainment systems, sun shade operation and interior lighting, for example. The technology also supports the opening of foot-activated rear liftgates and any other features a manufacturer wishes to incorporate with a simple gesture action, adds Microchip. The MGC3140 is AEC-Q100 qualified with an operating temperature range of -40 to +125 degrees C, and it meets the strict EMI and EMC requirements of automotive system designs. Each 3D gesture system consists of a sensor that can be constructed from any conductive material, as well as the Microchip gesture controller tuned for each individual application.

While existing solutions, such as infra red (IR) and time-of-flight (toF) technologies can be expensive and operate poorly in bright or direct sunlight, the MGC3140 offers reliable sensing in full sunlight and harsh environments, confirms Microchip. Unlike other options on the market they do not come with physical constraints nor require significant infrastructure and space to be integrated in a vehicle, continues the company. The MGC3140 is compatible with ergonomic interior designs and enables HMI designers to innovate with fewer physical constraints, as the sensor can be any conductive material and hidden from view.

The Emerald evaluation kit provides a convenient evaluation platform for the 3D gesture recognition controller. The kit includes a reference PCB with the MGC3140 controller, a PCB-based sensor to recognise gestures, as well as all cables, software and documentation. All parts are compatible with Microchip’s Aurea software development environment which supports all Microchip 3D gesture controllers.

The MGC3140 is available now in sampling and volume production quantities.

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