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IoT User Interface Authors: Pat Romanski, James Pathman, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Scott Allen

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Sensor Platforms’ FreeMotion™ Library Now Enables Context Aware Applications

By better understanding user contexts and intent, Sensor Platforms’ FreeMotion™ Library of algorithmic software now enables context aware applications on mobile devices to proactively engage with the user, and not merely interact with that user. This capability of the FreeMotion Library to enable context aware applications will be in beta this quarter, and in production early next year.

Context awareness results from a layer of sophisticated algorithms that interpret sensor data to infer higher-level information, such as whether the device is in motion; how the device is being carried; the posture of the user; and the mode of transportation, such as train, auto, or airplane.

These algorithms distill a context, for example “the user is walking,” into a series of characteristic features in sensor data. The presence of these and other features inform the context detection algorithm if the “walking” context is valid. And more than one single context is usually valid at the same time; for example, a user could be walking with his phone in his pocket.

Context awareness, as presented in the examples above, builds on, but requires more than, sensor fusion which results from combining the outputs from two or more sensors recording a common event, so that the fused result better captures the event than any single sensor input.

According to Ian Chen, EVP at Sensor Platforms, “We are very happy that our FreeMotion Library is being accepted by OEMs, and now adding the ability to deliver context awareness to mobile devices moves us closer to the time when such devices proactively support our lives, without intruding on our activities for their operation.”

Because all these sensors must work in the background on mobile devices, preserving battery life has to be the core principle of any context detection architecture. To address that, Sensor Platforms has created a proprietary layered framework to conserve sensor and computation power required to understand user contexts.

Thus the context aware framework preserves battery life, and can actually contribute to prolonging that battery life by allowing more aggressive system power management.

Finally, Sensor Platforms presents user contexts in a simple-to-use applications programming interface (API) in its upcoming FreeMotion Library Version 2 release. The API leverages the same structure which programmers are already familiar with from calling up sensor fusion functions.

About Sensor Platforms (www.sensorplatforms.com)

Sensor Platforms is a venture-financed company located in Silicon Valley that develops, for licensing, algorithmic software enabling consumer applications to better understand user contexts and intent.

The company’s FreeMotion™ Library makes sensor fusion and user context awareness available in smartphones and tablets, to combine and process data from installed sensors and microprocessors, to better interpret users’ movements and situations, and infer their intents.

The library makes it easy for device OEMs to purchase their sensors and microprocessors from multiple suppliers without damaging user experience. It also automatically optimizes sensor and platform power consumption based on user movement and contexts, to enable longer battery life.

To create the breadth of the FreeMotion library, the company has assembled a multi-disciplinary engineering team with proven track records in control systems, machine learning, mixed signal design, motion kinematics, real-time systems, semiconductor device physics, and signal processing.

The company is located at 2860 Zanker Road, #210, San Jose, CA 95134. For information: [email protected], or 408.850.9350.

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