San Francisco, Calif., and Beijing, China — Elliptic Labs, the global leader in ultrasound sensing, today announced the first innovation in proximity detection since Apple rolled out its initial smartphone in 2007. The technology, called INNER BEAUTY® is being used in a new phone, the "MIX," launched today by Xiaomi. INNER BEAUTY replaces the phone's hardware proximity sensor with ultrasound software and allows the speaker to be completely invisible, extending the functional area of the screen all the way to the top edge of the phone.
Until now, 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. However, INNER BEAUTY — built on Elliptic Labs' BEAUTY ultrasound proximity software — uses 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 eliminates 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 brings to mobile OEMs includes not only more screen real estate but also reduced cost with the removal of the hardware sensor.
Xiaomi's new MIX phone will be sold primarily in Asia, a vast market with millions of consumers who demand exciting technology and features. "We are thrilled to have our ultrasound proximity software featured in the new smartphone from world leader Xiaomi. Elliptic Labs is the only ultrasound proximity feature vendor designed into a tier-1 mobile handset," said Laila Danielsen, CEO of Elliptic Labs. "This is a significant validation of our Elliptic Labs' value proposition and we are confident this will pave the way for additional design wins for our innovative ultrasound proximity product in the coming quarters."
Xiaomi sold more than 70 million phones in 2015 and its new Model MIX with its ultra-thin bezel will appeal to users who want more screen space for watching videos or gaming on their phone, and without unsightly proximity sensor holes.
INNER BEAUTY is a registered trademark of Elliptic Labs.
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