Electronic Enthusiasts Network reported (text / Mo Tingting) As a non-contact sensing technology, millimeter-wave radar is showing its magic in smart homes, smart cars and other fields. According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, under the development trend of automobile intelligence, the relevant market size will reach 25.3 billion yuan in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 23%. In addition, data from research institutions show that by 2024, home radar is expected to reach 10.5 billion yuan by 2024. In addition to the above markets, millimeter-wave radar is expanding into application scenarios such as medical health monitoring and smart wear.

Based on millimeter-wave radar, JMicron recently brought a 3D gesture recognition system-on-a-chip solution – K60168, and applied it to TWS headsets, bringing a new sensing control method – gestures to wearable devices control. With the use of different technologies, wearable devices have also ushered in an upgrade iteration.

New track for smart wear: gesture control volume
Currently, the most widely used sensing technologies in the market include: millimeter-wave radar, cameras with far-infrared rays, ultrasonic waves and microwaves, each of which has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Among them, the camera is easily affected by the ambient light environment, and will form image information, which is relatively concerned about privacy; the resolution of the ultrasonic wave is poor, and it is easily affected by the ambient temperature; the microwave frequency is almost occupied, and the application scenarios are limited.

Relatively speaking, millimeter-wave radar can avoid these problems, does not generate any image information, can ensure user privacy and security, and its anti-interference ability is extremely strong. It has good adaptability and can be used normally in the environment of rain, fog and smoke. Millimeter-wave radar has superior sensing capability and resolution, and can detect sub-millimeter-level subtle movements, such as breathing, heartbeat, etc., as well as indoor applications such as future smart homes. It is understood that JMicron's K60168 is a single-chip solution based on millimeter-wave radar.

Lin Ming, deputy general manager of JMicron Technology, mentioned in an interview with electronic enthusiasts that millimeter-wave radar detection has the advantage of high recognition accuracy, can distinguish changes of several centimeters in 3D space, and also has anti-interference performance that is not interfered by light. It is not affected by shielding objects, and more importantly, it has low power consumption, small overall module size, and is easy to be embedded in various application devices. Based on this advantage, millimeter wave radar solutions such as K60168 can be applied to gesture recognition of wearable devices, home security detection (such as falls, vital signs, intrusions, etc.), industrial control security detection (such as unmanned trucks, machines, etc.) arm, etc.) and vehicle interior life sign detection and other application scenarios.

Lin Mingzheng, Deputy General Manager of JMicron Technology

Before JMicron, Google used a 60Ghz millimeter-wave radar called Soli on the Pixel 4 mobile phone released in 2019 to realize the gesture interaction function in the air. It is understood that Soli is provided by Infineon. After that, the industry began to study the application of 60Ghz millimeter-wave radar chips in consumer sleep diagnostic technology (CST). This feature will eventually be combined with smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit Sense, which have sleep tracking capabilities.

Returning to the application field of TWS earphones, pressure sensors and physical buttons are the main components of TWS earphones. Lin Mingzheng mentioned that the earphone body is small in size, the buttons are small, and the position is not easy to remember; and the pressure sensor will cause pressure on the ear when it is pressed. Accidental touch, or even the earphones falling off due to touching the earphones. All of these seriously affect the user experience for users who have finally adjusted a comfortable headphone position. "Using non-contact millimeter-wave radar technology, coupled with AI gesture recognition, can make the human-machine interface for headset operation more intuitive and friendly."

Previously, millimeter-wave radar products were difficult to popularize in large numbers due to various technical and cost issues due to the large overall module size, high power consumption, and difficulty in antenna design. In order to solve the above problems, JMicron's K60168 is the industry's first fully integrated embedded system integrating millimeter-wave radar and AI accelerator, which can complete data processing on the chip side. While reducing the interference, it also makes the transmission more stable. Like Google Soli, K60168 also adopts AiP packaging technology to open up more application markets in order to realize product miniaturization and facilitate embedding in various application devices.

Human-computer interaction opens up a new market for millimeter-wave radar
So, what markets will millimeter-wave radar technology open next? In the field of wearable devices, Lin Mingzheng believes that wearable devices will focus more on humanized and intuitive operations, such as earphones. In addition to enhancing the user's auditory senses, more intelligent operations will also be pursued by these manufacturing wearable factories. Yes; perhaps there will be a big convergence of multiple human interactions, such as combining speech recognition with gesture recognition.

At the medical level, millimeter-wave radar is used in non-contact vital signs sensing technology. Vital sign sensing technology is mainly divided into two categories: skin contact and non-skin contact. The former is mainly PPG, ECG, EEG and other technologies. Non-invasive blood glucose monitoring smart watches usually use PPG (photoplethysmography); The latter are mainly BCG (ballistic cardiogram) and millimeter-wave radar technologies. Compared with consumer grades, medical grade applications are obviously more worth looking forward to.

Today, with the development of technology, millimeter-wave radar technology with higher precision and higher-speed signal processing capabilities is gradually being applied to vital signs monitoring. Lin Mingzheng mentioned that gesture recognition constructed by millimeter-wave radar provides a new and friendly human-machine interface.

In the context of human-computer interaction, in addition to gesture control of TWS headsets, medical and health monitoring, human-computer interaction in cars is also the application direction of millimeter wave technology, such as gesture control of the center console in the smart cockpit, and the sense of life in the car. Testing, kicking the tailgate outside the car, etc. will be the direction of future development.

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