Elliptic Labs has been passionate about gesture-controlled technology since its founding in 2006. While much of their energy has been focused on a touch-free mobile phone experience – enabling hands-free video recording and selfies – they unveiled EASY IoT software at Mobile World Congress, allowing controlling IoT appliances to take place with simple hand gestures. The technology can be applicable to devices like smart thermostats, kitchen appliances, lighting controls, and security systems, to name a few.

The company will be offering EASY IoT technology to mobile manufacturers for inclusion in their products. “By working closely with mobile manufacturers and their IoT innovation departments, we enable consumers to easily connect, control, and interact with IoT devices,” explained Laila Danielsen, CEO of Elliptic Labs. “Ultrasound is such a versatile yet robust technology that creating solutions for home use, as we are demoing today, is just the beginning.”

EASY IoT works by using ultrasonic presence-detection to wake up devices and enable touchless gesture capabilities. When a device detects the presence of a hand or body, it turns itself to waiting or active mode, ready to be used. The technology can be embedded in any device and OEMs can assign any meaning to a gesture depending on the application and the location where the gesture is performed.

Available exclusively from Elliptic Labs, ultrasonic touchless gesture technology has already proven itself superior to other approaches, such as optical or infrared sensors. Ultrasonic technology is the only such solution that can deliver full 3D interaction all around a device at 180 degrees. The exceptionally wide interaction zone, together with low power consumption and functionality in any lighting conditions, make ultrasound a winning technology for tomorrow’s connected home.

The revolutionary ultrasound technology from Elliptic Labs works much like radar, sending out sound waves that bounce off objects and deliver back information via microphones built into existing devices. Elliptic Labs’ software converts this information into a command for the mobile device or IoT appliance. Does the gesture controlling look strange? Perhaps, at first, but once you’ve demoed switching a lamp on and off with a gesture and learn that the small sensors use very little battery power, you start to believe that this could change the lives of not only devices but also their users.