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Ultrasound navigation coming to smartphones with Snapdragon processors

Snapdragon processor manufacturer Qualcomm has acquired Israeli digital ultrasound positioning company EPOS Technologies, announcing that it expects to incorporate EPOS technology into its Snapdragon smartphone and tablet processors.

According to TechCrunch, EPOS’ technology works both on and off screen and in three dimensions, potentially allowing for non-touch user interfaces to be released on future mobile devices.

"EPOS technology is based on the transmission of ultrasonic acoustic waves between two or more devices via a transmitter and a software-based receiver. The transmitter, embedded within an input device, sends constant acoustic signals to the software-based receiver that in turn, uses them to measure the distance and position of the pointing device," EPOS states on its website.

"Enabling advanced, embedded technologies for both two- and three-dimensional input solutions, EPOS technology uses only standard MEMs microphones, making it low in cost and easy to integrate with only minimal hardware and design changes required."

In its press release, Qualcomm outlines how it expects the technology to be incorporated into future Android and Windows Phone devices.

"The acquired assets will further strengthen and differentiate Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, allowing unique and powerful next-generation user experiences for smartphones, tablets and e-readers. EPOS team members who are joining Qualcomm will be integrated into Qualcomm Israel’s R&D team and will be focused on delivering new mobile device and service capabilities," Qualcomm states.

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Andrew Sadauskas

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