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Better touch controls for automobiles are created by UltraSense using machine learning

With the use of machine learning, UltraSense Systems has introduced improved touch-control sensors for automobiles.

The new In-Plane sensing vehicle technology allows for multi-mode sensing and HMI control in the SmartSurface’s horizontal plane (or A-Surface). Due to the decreased volume and weight, as well as the simplified construction, sensors may be made much smaller and lighter. It also makes it possible for contemporary layouts and arrangements.

Also, it helps with a problem that might arise with touch controls: unintentional activation. Nobody enjoys making a phone call from their pocket or tapping a screen and missing the button they’re attempting to hit.

The benefits of sustainability and recycling are a direct result of this. The business claims that this not only improves driving range, but also paves the way for sleek new user experiences like controls for retractable steering wheels.

Established in San Jose, California According to UltraSense, In-Plane sensing paves the way for the smallest feasible HMI experience to be delivered. To be sure, this is more than just an indium tin oxide (ITO) capacitive layer; rather, it enables multimode sensing, processing and algorithms, feedback control, and secure communication across visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic domains.

According to UltraSense, this is a formula for revolutionary change that will drastically cut the depth of conventional vehicle modules. The business claims that when InPlane sensing is used in conjunction with their TouchPoint family of HMI controllers, designs can be made to accommodate Smart Surface HMI interactions via the widest possible range of materials, not only capacitive plastic and glass. Today’s Smart Surfaces are able to function across a wide range of materials, from hard metals to organic materials like wood and leather.

“Traditional interface modules were measured in inches of thickness, with In-plane sensing we are talking
about millimeters of surface thickness, with full solid-state HMI controller capabilities, of multi-modal sensing and feedback control of lighting, audio and haptics,” said Mo Maghsoudnia, CEO of UltraSense. “InPlane sensing principles combined with our TouchPoint family of HMI controllers deliver the thinnest HMI operating through the broadest range of materials. This technology is applicable for HMI experiences for automotive interior and exteriors, industrial, and consumer applications.”

TouchPoint HMI controllers have CapForce, UltraForce, and TapForce multi-mode sensing, in addition to processing power, artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning algorithms, feedback control for lighting, sound, and haptics, and encrypted data transmission.

UltraSense is a multinational firm with locations throughout the globe, including Silicon Valley, Taipei, China, South Korea, Japan, and Europe. The startup has received funding from the likes of Robert Bosch Ventures, Artiman Ventures, Abies Ventures, Sony Innovation, Sparx Group, and Asahi Kasei.

UltraSense claims that the HMI controller it developed provides more accurate results than using a single sense (Capacitive alone), which can assist prevent “unintentional activations.” Furthermore, the sensor can detect through a wider variety of materials than capacitive, which is limited to plastics and glasses. The auto industry is attempting to set itself apart by testing the compatibility of sensors with natural and high-end materials like wood and leather.

I was curious about the technology’s inner workings and asked about them. TDK bought the company that was the industry leader in MEMS gyros and accelerometers, InvenSense. Many of the initial team members came from InvenSense. Most modern mobile phones run on their MEMS technology.

UltraSense said that utilising Cap and Force for dual-mode sensing may greatly enhance touchpoint accuracy (usability scoring rises from 88 to 94). The organisation can achieve even higher levels of accuracy (usability scores above and above 96%, nearing 99%) with the use of machine learning and local processing. As a result, “accidental activations” are reduced even further.

Buttons on the steering wheel, for instance, that are accessible when the driver has their hands at 10 and 2 o’clock, or 9 and 3 o’clock, should accommodate the vast majority of situations. However, one car manufacturer ran into the “trucker’s posture.” Long-distance drivers who grip the wheel at its spokes are more likely to have their palms press buttons by accident. The Ultrasense ML system can detect and prevent such unintentional activations.

Sensors with built-in processing provide the “zero latency” essential for successful sensing-feedback interactions (think of a foreign film where the mouth and the voice tracks are mismatched). This phenomenon is similar to what occurs with haptic response in vehicles, where a centralised MCU doing many tasks simultaneously produces unpredictable delay, leading to double-presses or the sensation that something isn’t working. This problem is not applicable when a local processor is incorporated.

The finest control with minimal latency is provided by its feedback control of lighting, sound, and feel, the business claims.

Under 100 people now work for the firm, which started operations in 2018. The LG Velvet and Rollable smartphones, as well as the CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared Vehicle, Electrified) automobile ventures, both have UltraSense integration.