Need a hand with messy jobs? TI’s CapTIvate™ technology can help

Picture this scenario, you are working in your garage and you smell fresh baked cookies in the kitchen. With the sugar rush in your head, you race to the door and grab the door knob to make it to the kitchen.  Oops, you get grease all over the knob. Meanwhile, your wife is struggling with cookie dough hands to turn on the kitchen faucet. In the era of hands-free driving and calling, why can’t the door open itself or the water faucet open without someone having to touch it? Wouldn’t it be even better if you can wave at your faucet to control temperature?

Enter our CapTIvate™ technology – the world’s lowest power proximity and gesture solution.  Using capacitive sensing principles, MSP430™ microcontrollers (MCUs) with CapTIvate technology can detect a hand or a person getting close to a sensor with a range of 15 cm or higher. In addition, the sensors can be setup such that the direction of motion can also be determined, allowing for 3D gesturing.  Operating at < 5 uA – the lowest in the industry, CapTIvate technology can enable several years of proximity and gesturing in battery powered electronic locks, faucets, soap dispensers and more.

MSP430 MCUs with CapTIvate technology have several features built into silicon that enables these proximity and gesture applications. 

  • It can sense up to four capacitive sensors in parallel within 500 usec, allowing it to detect fast moving changes in the capacitive field.
  • With the ability to detect < 10 femtofarad of capacitive changes, the sensors can be tuned into triggers with the minutest change.
  • The “wake on touch” state machine allows the proximity sensors to work with the microcontroller CPU completely turned off, allowing applications to get years of battery life.
  • Features like frequency hopping, oversampling, debouncing and noise filtering enables robust detection in noisy environments.

Check out the CapTIvate™ technology training series part 6: Proximity sensing and 3D gestures to learn more.

To evaluate proximity and gestures with CapTIvate technology

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