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Proximity detection enables energy-efficient devices

Posted: 06 Aug 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:proximity detection  energy efficiency  battery 

Proximity detection enables a system to make a decision based on the relative distance of an object to the proximity sensor. The purpose of proximity detection in most applications is to enable or disable system features when a system user is determined to be within a specified proximity range.

This specified range that determines a proximity event is a convenient way to categorise proximity detection applications. Short-range applications are interested in seeing whether a user is within the range of a few centimeters, while long range applications base decisions on whether a user is within the range of about a meter. Short-range applications are typically portable devices that rely on the user putting the device to their head, such as one would with a mobile phone when making a phone call. Long range applications, however, are typically non-portable devices that rely on a user approaching them to activate.

The primary benefit driving proximity detection is increased power efficiency. Correct use of a proximity detection system can increase battery runtime in a portable device or minimise the power usage of a plug-in device.

Many government entities are enforcing higher power efficiency standards on consumer electronics. Additionally, many consumers have an increased expectation of power saving features within their electronic devices and often base purchasing decisions on the scope of these features. For these reasons, proximity detection can be a strategic, value-adding feature to implement into many possible applications.

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