Chirp CH101 Proximity Sensing & Contact Tracing | Symmetry Blog
TDK InvenSense is a leading global provider of MEMS sensor platforms found in mobile, wearables, smart home, industrial, and automotive products. Recently, TDK InvenSense launched their Chirp CH101, the first ever commercially available MEMS-based ultrasonic Time-of-Flight (ToF) range sensor. A system-in-package that integrates a Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer (PMUT) and ultra-low-power system on chip (SoC)–the CH101 is extremely compact, measuring at just 3.5mm x 3.5mm x 1.26mm. Offering accurate range measurements from 4cm to 1.2m over a wide Field-of-View (FoV) and in any lighting condition, the SoC is capable of supporting diverse use cases focused on range-finding, presence and proximity sensing, object-detection and avoidance, and position-tracking.
Chirp CH101 Social Distancing Solution
With the on-set of the COVID-19 pandemic, TDK InvenSense realized an opportunity to address new social distancing requirements by utilizing the accurate range measurement ability, ultra-low-power, and compact size of the Chirp CH101 to develop a true robust solution. In scenarios where group gatherings are inevitable (such as warehouses, construction sites, corporate offices, and universities), a social distancing and contact tracing strategy must be in effect to keep individuals safe and healthy. TDK InvenSense has therefore created a Social Distancing Tag Reference Design to allow design engineers to develop a smart proximity tag system of their own that is capable of alerting individuals when they have breached distance regulations while also recording who each person has come into contact with in the event that someone becomes ill. One incredible defining feature of the CH101, is its ability to detect transparent surfaces (such as glass or clear plastic); this is especially relevant in circumstances where clear protective shields have been installed between individuals in the workplace.
CH101 Engineering Applications
Shortly after its launch, TDK InvenSense’s Ultrasonic Social Distancing Reference Design Dev Kit won the Best of Sensors Award 2020 from Sensors Expo and Fierce Sensors. Aside from its ground-breaking social distancing and contact tracing use case, the CH101 is also useful for applications such as augmented and virtual reality; robotics; obstacle avoidance; mobile and computing devices; proximity and presence sensing; ultra-low power remote presence-sensing nodes; and home and building automation.