Elliptic Labs, San Francisco, California and Shanghai, China
Name of Organization / Company: Elliptic Labs, San Francisco, California and Shanghai, China
Category: N01 - N02 - Award for Innovation in Technology > N01. Award for the Innovation in Technology Development> All Other Industries
Entry Title: Elliptic Labs is the leader in ultrasound virtual proximity and gesture sensing
On October 25, 2016, Elliptic Labs, the global leader in ultrasound sensing, launched the first innovation in proximity detection since Apple rolled out its smartphone in 2007. The technology, called INNER BEAUTY® was incorporated into a new phone, the “MIX,” which was launched by Xiaomi. The INNER BEAUTY technology replaced the phone's hardware proximity sensor with ultrasound software and allowed the speaker to be completely invisible, extending the functional area of the screen all the way to the top edge of the phone.
Until then, all smartphones required an optical infrared hardware proximity sensor to turn off the screen and disable the touch functionality when users held the device up to their ear. Without the proximity sensor, a user's ear or cheek could accidentally trigger actions during a call, such as hanging up the call or dialing numbers while the call is ongoing. INNER BEAUTY -- built on Elliptic Labs' BEAUTY ultrasound proximity software -- used patented algorithms not only to remove the proximity sensor, but also to hide the speaker behind the phone's glass screen.
Besides eliminating the unsightly holes on a phone's screen, Elliptic Labs’ technology eliminated common issues with hardware proximity sensors, such as their unreliability in certain weather conditions or in response to various skin colors as well as dark hair. The value INNER BEAUTY brought to mobile OEMs included not only more screen real estate but also reduced cost with the removal of the hardware sensor.
Elliptic Lab’s INNER BEAUTY, was responsible for kicking off the current craze for bezel-less phones and since the launch has been used in both releases of the hugely popular Mi Mix phone from Xiaomi. Consumers clearly wanted larger, functional screens as a bevvy of new phones with larger screens hit the market in 2017. But manufacturers trying to maximize screen real estate have an uphill battle if they’re using conventional infrared technology. That’s why Xiaomi leveraged Elliptic Labs’ INNER BEAUTY ultrasound software to kick off a new smartphone design trend. Now, it’s become a game of catch-up for everybody else.
Elliptic Labs runs its core business in Asia with in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing from which it services its OEM customers. Other offices are in Norway and the US. Elliptic Labs works, under embargo, with the top Asian OEM on technology advances.
INNER BEAUTY releases: