The secrets of obviousness (in patents): Secret 1

ECN (6/4/2015), Charles W.K. Gritton, Hillcrest Labs

ECN Logo
This three-part column will focus on obviousness.  The center of most patent cases, obviousness is quite difficult to define … The difficulty with obviousness flows from three layers of knowledge – or, rather, wisdom – about patents.  Each layer can only be fully appreciated or learned after one has mastered the one above it.  Even many experienced practitioners and interested parties don’t fully appreciate these facts.  I’ve therefore termed them “secrets”. 
I present them here in sequence, in the hope that the reader finishes the article far wiser than when s/he began.

Read more at ECN.



Hillcrest Labs Expands Motion Sensor Market Focus to Wearables

ABI Research (2Q 2015), Jeff Orr


abi logo

Hillcrest Labs announced that mobile device maker Alcatel Onetouch (TCL) licensed its Freespace MotionEngine software for use in its smart watch. Hillcrest’s software extends the battery life with context-aware power savings, simplifies the user experience, and enables users to track their daily fitness-related activities, such as walking and running.

Read more at ABI Research

SMK Introduces ‘Voice Command’ and ‘6-Axis Motion Sensing’ Remote Controls at TV Connect 2015

SMK (4/28/2015)

Utilizing Bluetooth® Smart low energy RF technology from Dialog Semiconductor, in tandem with optional MotionEngine™ software from Hillcrest Labs, our new remote controls provide high-performance low-cost solutions for OEMs looking to deploy next generation Smart TVs, set-top boxes, media players, PCs and other consumer entertainment devices.


10 Lies Engineers Tell Themselves about Patents

ECN (3/30/2015), Charles W.K. Gritton, Hillcrest Labs

ECN Logo

An audience member [at CES] asked the panel moderator how patent rights were dealt with in a new Open Source software initiative.  The moderator answered that since the software was licensed under the BSD license, “legal” had assured him there was no issue. I was stunned by the answer.  It sounds logical but is so misleading in its sweeping breadth and plain wrong that, intentional or unintentional, it reminded me of Dostoyevsky. This is not the only stretcher commonly told about patents.  There are quite a few others that form the subject matter for this article.

Read more at ECN.

Synopsys and Hillcrest Labs Announce Ultra-Low Power Sensor Processing Solution for Always-On Applications

Sensors Magazine (3/5/2015)

Sensors Online Mag

Sensors and sensor processing software are fundamental to compelling, new user experiences in an expanding array of mobile, wearable and IoT devices … The combination of Synopsys’ ultra-low power DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem and our MotionEngine software can achieve the power savings required by the always-on, high performance sensor-enabled applications that are at the forefront of today’s consumer electronics market.

Read more at Sensors Magazine

RCR Wireless: Reader Forum: Sensor adoption in smartphones

RCR Wireless (3/2/15), Chad Lucien

RCR Wireless

The latest phones contain as many as 16 sensors that make the phone aware of the environment and the user in order to power new applications, enable longer battery life and deliver better user experiences. This trend has given rise to a new category of embedded processors called “sensor hubs” that have specialized software to efficiently manage the sensors and provide accurate, context-aware information to the smartphone’s applications.

Read more at RCR Wireless.

CES 2015: Sensors are everywhere … but what products matter?

ECN (1/13/2015), Chad Lucien

ECN Logo





CES 2015 was defined by more sensors, in more products, in more categories than ever before. Incredibly, one in 10 U.S. adults own an activity tracker today … At CES this year, the trick was finding those products that have a crisp, clear end-user value and present it in an elegant way.So let’s take a look at a few of the products that appear to be on the right track and made an appearance at CES 2015. Read more at ECN.